9 Irish beef and pork processors exhibiting at major Chinese trade fair

A total of nine beef and pork processors from Ireland are exhibiting today at SIAL, a major food and drink trade fair held in China.

The event – which is taking place in Shanghai today (Wednesday, May 16) – attracts approximately 3,400 exhibitors representing 67 countries from around the world.

These exhibitors are busy trying to do business and communicate with the 110,000 professionals who are expected to attend the event.

The processors at the fair include:
  • ABP Food Group;
  • AgraKepak;
  • Ashbourne Meat Processors;
  • Dawn Meats;
  • Dawn Pork & Bacon;
  • Foyle Food Group;
  • Liffey Meats;
  • QK Meats; and
  • Rosderra Irish Meats.

The Irish contingent of exhibitors have taken stands on the Ireland pavilion, which was officially opened today by: the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan; the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed; and the CEO of Bord Bia, Tara McCarthy.

L-R: Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy; Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed; and EU Commissioner Phil Hogan

Speaking earlier today, Commissioner Hogan congratulated the Irish Government, Bord Bia, Minister Creed and all of the other stakeholders for securing Chinese market access for Irish beef exports.

You do need patience in China and you do need a lot of hard work on the ground. All of the officials here that have worked exceptionally hard here deserve great credit for this achievement.

“Of course, as European Commissioner, I want to see more openings for other member states in the European Union. We have had many meetings over the last 48 hours to try and achieve this – whether it is France, the Netherlands, Belgium or Spain.

“They are looking for new market opportunities and when you have 1.3 billion of a market here in China, it is very important,” the commissioner said.

EU membership

Addressing the congregation at the Irish stand, Minister Creed explained that Ireland’s membership of the European Union has played a significant role in securing Chinese market access for Irish beef exports.

Continuing, he said: “The Chinese market has 1.3 billion consumers; one in every seven consumers globally are located in this market.

In the context of our nearest neighbour and good friend – the UK – departing the European Union, I think it is important to state emphatically as the Irish Minister for Agriculture that we see our future inextricably linked with our continuing membership of the European Union.

‘An exceptional opportunity’

Meanwhile, Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, wished to emphasise the growing importance and potential of the Chinese market.

She said: “I join you today with a powerful message about an exceptional opportunity. Demand for beef is growing fast in China. In a few short years, the country has become the world’s second largest importer of beef.

“This is happening at a time when the European Union has grown to become China’s biggest overall trading partner. So not only do very strong trade relations exist between us, there is now a basis to develop a new strand within that.

“We believe that quality beef and lamb from Europe can be a strong and sustainable part of our future trading relationships,” she concluded.

Conor Finnerty reporting from China.