Bord Bia welcomes return of Irish beef to China
23 February 2015
Bord Bia has welcomed the announcement by the Chinese government to re-open its market to Irish beef following an absence of 15 years.
The Irish food board believes this positive decision marks an important next step in securing new market opportunities for Irish exporters in this high potential market. Increasing prosperity in China is leading to increased demand for imported beef which is expected to rise to over 750,000 tonnes by 2023, but only accounting for approximately 3% of China’s meat consumption.
Commenting on the announcement, Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter said the decision “represents a major boost for the reputation of Irish beef in the region”.
“International markets, outside the European Union, were the star performers in Irish food and drink exports achieving their fifth year of continuous growth in 2014,” he said. “Almost one-third (€850 million) went to Asia, of which almost two-thirds were accounted for by China (61%) where exports increased by almost 40% to reach €520 million.”
“In addition the Chinese consumer preference for cuts less in demand on European markets will provide a complementary export outlet that maximises overall returns to Irish producers and processors,” Cotter added.
He added that Ireland has built a solid trading relationship with China which has seen the value of Irish food and drink exports increase tenfold over the past ten years, to become our sixth largest export market overall. Bord Bia’s Shanghai office will work closely with exporters to fully exploit the region`s potential.
In anticipation of this positive move by the Chinese authorities, Bord Bia agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with the China Meat Association which has already enabled Irish exporters to engage with potential buyers. A delegation representing China’s top beef buying companies will visit Ireland in the coming weeks and visit beef and sheep meat export plants to see the high standards of production, processing and regulatory control that exist in Ireland. They will also participate in this year`s Bord Bia business development initiative “Marketplace International” on 26 March in the Convention Centre Dublin, where they will meet with leading beef exporters.