Ireland chases Chinese beef market at ‘Asia’s biggest event’

As Irish attempts to secure full market access for beef in China continue, Bord Bia is this week intensifying its meat promotion efforts at SIAL China in Shanghai.

Promoted as “Asia’s largest food innovation exhibition”, the SIAL event is where Bord Bia seeks to drive exports from the ‘Ireland – Origin Green’ pavilion and lead the EU beef and lamb awareness campaign.

There are nine Irish meat companies participating in the SIAL food trade fair, at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Seven beef and sheep meat exporters are on show in the ‘European Beef and Lamb’ pavilion with two additional Irish pigmeat companies on display at the neighbouring ‘Ireland – Origin Green’ location.

There are 2,900 exhibitors in attendance at the international trade show, which runs from May 17 to May 19. Over 66,000 visitors are expected, such as importers, trade buyers, chefs and restaurateurs.

Last week, from May 8 to May 11, Bord Bia attended HOFEX, an important food fair in Hong Kong which brought in more than 38,000 food buyers. Ireland has full market access into Hong Kong for beef and lamb, and there was strong interest from buyers over the course of the four-day event.

Earlier in 2017, Bord Bia won the contract to promote EU beef and lamb in China, Japan and Hong Kong in a campaign with a value of €3.75 million. This is made up of €3 million in EU funding and €750,000 from Bord Bia.

The three-year, Bord Bia led campaign entitled ‘European Beef and Lamb – Excellence in Food Safety and Sustainability’ will go on a series of roadshow events this year.

These will include technical seminars, international trade fairs and the launch of a digital campaign to build awareness and understanding of quality assurance, food safety and sustainability of European grass-fed beef and lamb.

Bord Bia’s leading role in the campaign comes at an “opportune moment” when the Irish food industry is looking for opportunities to diversify into new and emerging markets in response to the issue of Brexit.

As part of this EU co-funded campaign, Bord Bia together with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will welcome more than 20 high-level officials from “key” Chinese Agencies and Ministries to Ireland later this year.