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Irish Agri-Food Trade Mission to North Africa Concludes in Algiers - "Existing Markets with Significant Potential for Expansion"

The five-day Irish trade mission to North Africa concluded yesterday with a number of events in Algiers.  The mission, in which representatives of some of Ireland’s leading agri-food and agri-service companies participated, commenced in Morocco last week and moved to Algeria on Saturday for a series of events there.

Algeria is the 10th largest country in the world, with a population of 40 million people and a significant food deficit. The value of trade in Irish agri food products to Algeria exceeded €40 million in 2015, and there is significant potential for further trade development.  Algeria is the second largest importer of powdered milk in the world, after China, and Ireland already provides 4.5% of milk powder and 23% of cheese imports into Algeria. 

The Algerian leg of the trade mission included meetings with the Secretary General and senior officials of the Algerian Ministry for Agriculture. The discussions were wide ranging, and included the potential for mutual co-operation, as well as a number of technical issues relating the certification of Irish beef and dairy produce to Algeria. In addition, officials on both sides agreed on the first steps in applying for access for Irish sheepmeat to Algeria.

Members of the delegation also met with ONIL, the State’s agri food purchasing agency, and with a number of other potential business partners in the dairy and livestock field. In addition, companies travelling with the official delegation were given the opportunity for bilateral engagement with potential commercial partners through a number of networking and other events.

The mission concluded on Monday 8th November, with a seminar showcasing the best that the Irish agri-food sector has to offer, to an audience of potential buyers and Algerian Ministry Officials.

This seminar, entitled “Food Ireland: Safe, Secure & Sustainable”,  included presentations by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and from Bord Bia, and Irish dairy companies were given an opportunity to pitch their offering to an invited Algerian audience. On the Algerian side, the Deputy Director General of ONIL, the Algerian State purchasing agency, provided an outline of its strategic priorities to the Irish members of the audience.

Commenting on this event Minister Creed said, “Algeria is an existing market with significant potential for expansion. This high-level conference was successful in raising the profile of Ireland as a sustainable producer of safe, high quality food. It also provided Irish companies and state agencies with a real opportunity to build constructive relationships with potential partners in Algeria. The event received considerable coverage in the Algerian media and provided a great platform for Irish companies to make customer contacts for the future”. 

Concluding, Minister Creed said, “While there is no single answer to the difficulties posed by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, it is clear that we must provide Irish companies with the opportunity to broaden their trade portfolios.

I am satisfied that there is significant potential to expand the trade opportunity in North Africa and I am very happy to play my part in opening doors for Irish companies seeking to operate in this region. I will continue to work closely with industry to identify new markets or those with potential for expansion, to use the services of my Department and its agencies to raise the profile of Ireland as a world class producer of agri food products, and to ensure that the our food  industry has access to as many markets as possible worldwide.”

 Note for editors: 

Morocco

  • Agri-food exports from Ireland to Morocco last year continued their steady growth. They have now almost doubled from around €8 million in 2013 to almost €14.5 million in 2015.
  • In 2015 almost €13 million or 3,650 tonnes of dairy produce was exported. 2016 is also looking to be a very positive year so far. By the end of July, a greater volume of diary produce (4,300 tonnes) had been exported than in the whole of 2015.
  • Almost €13 million in agri-food products had been exported by the end of July in Morocco, which is close to the entire amount for 2015. This reflects the strong and growing strategic partnerships being built between Moroccan and Irish food companies.

Algeria

  • Ireland’s agri-food exports to Algeria were worth over €41m in 2015, up from less than €30M three years previously.
  • These figures are driven by strong growth in our dairy exports, particularly powders, butter, cheese and caseins. Dairy exports to Algeria in 2015 were over €40M.
  • Our statistics for the year to date in 2016 show that these upward trends continue with exports increasing by approximately 14% in the dairy area for the period to the middle of the year.

 

 To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 154/2016 (pdf 483Kb) 

 

Date Released: 08 November 2016

Distribution channels: Agriculture, Farming & Forestry