For Oral Answer on : 20/04/2023
Question Number(s): 105 Question Reference(s): 17485/23
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the measures being taken by his Department to support the overseas marketing of Irish agricultural and food products; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As the Deputy will be aware, a key element of Food Vision 2030, the Irish agri-food sector’s 10-year strategic development plan, is to grow the value of our agri-food exports on international markets. Food Vision identifies a number of actions targeted at realising this growth ambition, including market diversification and market promotion activities.
These include my Department working with industry and Bord Bia to realise new opportunities in countries and regions with growing middle-class populations and rising disposable incomes. These markets are characterised by consumers who have a significant appetite for the high-quality, sustainable and safe dairy, meat, beverages and seafood produced by our farmers, fishers and processors.
A key component of my Department’s efforts to market Irish agri-food goods internationally is our Ministerial Trade Mission programme, which we undertake in conjunction with industry and Bord Bia. In 2022 we restarted in-person Trade Missions with visits to the United States, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, as well as European promotional activities in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
In 2023 we have a further intensive schedule of Trade Missions planned. Minister Heydon has just returned from China, where he supported a number of Irish exporters in promoting their high quality agri-food products at one of China’s largest trade fairs in Hainan, and held high-level executive meetings with key customers for Irish food in Shanghai.
I will lead a second trade mission to China in May, including to the SIAL food trade fair in Shanghai, which underlines the Government’s commitment to what is the top opportunity market in Asia for Irish agri-food exports.
Later in the year we will have Trade Missions to Nigeria, Senegal, Malaysia, Philippines and to a number of European countries, all of which are key priority growth markets for Irish agri-food exports.
This programme of Ministerial Trade Missions provides important opportunities for the Government to enhance the ongoing efforts of Bord Bia and industry in marketing Ireland’s high quality, sustainably produced agri-food products in key priority growth markets.
I can assure the Deputy that my Department and I, as well as Bord Bia, are firmly focused on realising the sector’s ambition to grow the value of our exports, as this is also a key element of our commitment to deliver sustainable incomes for our family farms.