For Oral Answer on : 09/12/2021
Question Number(s): 75 Question Reference(s): 60750/21
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine his plans to further assist Irish agri-food producers in developing markets and securing new business opportunities in 2022 and beyond; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
My Department continues to support the ambition of the Irish agri-food sector to grow the value of exports to international markets. The promotion of Ireland’s high-quality, safe, nutritious and sustainably produced food is a core objective of my Department and its agencies.
The Government’s strategy to deliver this export growth has seen Bord Bia receive significant extra funding from my Department over the last number of budgets. This additional funding is supporting Bord Bia’s extensive marketing and promotional activities in priority markets and identifying new market opportunities for Irish food exporters. It is also used to provide support to individual companies that are establishing and expanding their presence in international markets.
My Department also continues to work on the opportunities provided by recent EU Free Trade Agreements with third countries, and to press at Government-to-Government level for the removal of technical market access barriers across a range of third country markets.
Another component of our market development strategy is Ministerial Trade Missions. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, Minister Heydon and myself have led a number of virtual trade missions and key customer engagements in 2021. These were focused on Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, China, Singapore and West Africa, as well as on our traditional markets in the EU, UK and US.
In 2022, provided the public health situation allows, we have an extensive schedule of in-person trade missions planned in a number of the key target growth markets for Irish food exports. I can assure the Deputy that Minister Heydon and I, and my Department, are fully focused on enhancing our existing markets and developing new markets for Irish food and food producers.