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Minister Creed leads his Third Agri-Food Trade Mission to China

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D. will this week lead an agri-food trade mission to China visiting three cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Hohhot.

Speaking ahead of the Trade Mission, Minister Michael Creed T.D. said “I am delighted to be leading my third trade mission to China which will strengthen and develop the existing important relationship between Ireland and China in relation to agri-food”.

“This mission will concentrate on building on our existing strong relationships with Government and regulatory agencies, progressing market access for key products, and providing opportunities for Irish meat and dairy companies in particular to foster relationships with key Chinese partners.”

Total agri-food exports to China in 2018 amounted to almost €800 million, a nearly fourfold increase from €200 million in 2010, according to CSO trade statistics (which include non-edible exports such as forestry as well as food and drinks). Dairy products accounted for 68% (€541 million) of total exports, built on Ireland’s reputation as a leading producer of high quality, safely and sustainably produced dairy products.  Pigmeat is another important category, with export value having increased to €77 million last year.

Following the announcement of Irish beef access in April 2018, there are now seven Irish plants approved to export beef to China.  Exports of Irish beef commenced in the summer 2018 and by the end of 2018 around €2.8 million (1,400 tonnes) had been exported, with significant potential for future growth.


“I look forward to engaging with my Chinese counterparts in relation to the process for approval of a number of additional beef plants, as well as progressing discussions on the next steps in the path towards sheepmeat access”, Minister Creed concluded.

Minister Creed will be accompanied by senior officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and from Bord Bia, plus participation from many of our leading dairy and meat companies.

Speaking in advance of the visit Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said, “As well as offering Government to Government engagement, this Trade Mission will be vital in building enduring commercial relationships between Irish exporters and Chinese suppliers. Underlining the strategic importance of the region to the Irish food and drink industry, Bord Bia has completed over 500 hours of qualitative research studies in the region to identify the most profitable route to market for Irish producers. These insights also inform our on-going consumer and trade campaigns in China which includes online promotions, inward buyer visits, and EU co-funded campaigns, while through Origin Green, we have verifiable evidence of the ability of our producers and 66,000 plus certified farmers to provide quality, safe and sustainable food.” 

Minister Creed concluded ‘in line with the market development theme of our shared Food Wise 2025 strategy for the sustainable growth of the sector, increasing access, developing and expanding our exports to China is a priority for my Department, working in close collaboration with Bord Bia , the Irish Embassy and the agri-food industry.’’

Note for editors:


1. Shanghai, Monday 13 May

Minister Creed and delegation will host industry meetings with key Chinese customers, Shanghai

2. Shanghai & Beijing Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 May

Minister Creed attends the official opening of SIAL and the Irish Pavilion, Shanghai

Meetings with Ministerial counterparts in Beijing on market access and technical cooperation.

Minister hosts a celebration of Irish beef in the Embassy of Ireland, Beijing

3. Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, Thursday 14 May

Minister Creed will lead an Irish dairy delegation to meet key Chinese dairy companies.



Date Released: 12 May 2019