EU Commission co-funding of €3.05 million has been awarded towards a €3.82 million Bord Bia information and promotional campaign promoting European pork and poultry in China and Mexico.

The announcement of the funding for this three-year initiative has been welcomed by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

The campaign, “European Pork and Poultry – Excellence in Quality Assurance and Food Safety”, will commence in early 2020, targeting a combined population of 1.5 billion people across these two key import markets.

Commenting, Minister Creed said: “The development of the Chinese and Mexican markets for European pigmeat and the Chinese market for European poultry is of the utmost importance in maintaining and growing these sectors in Ireland and in assuring a viable return for producers.

The campaign aims to build and strengthen awareness of Europe’s high standards in quality and production of pork and poultry – including those from Ireland – and to build the positive image in those markets as a trusted partner.

Campaign activities will include trade fairs, technical seminars, digital media and PR, targeting trade professionals, market influencers, key decision makers and media.

In addition, Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will welcome 60 trade representatives from both Mexico and China to visit Irish farms and producers.

Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, said: “Securing this EU funding highlights the confidence in Ireland as a well-established exporter of quality, sustainably produced pork and poultry.

This campaign gives us the opportunity to broaden and deepen our promotional reach across a wider range of Chinese regions for pigmeat and grow awareness of our poultry production capabilities.

“In the Mexican market, the campaign activities will help to support and penetrate the third-largest global export destination for pigmeat.”

China is now Ireland’s second-largest export market for pigmeat, with exports standing at over €93 million for the first eight months of the year.

Ireland has had market access to China for pigmeat since 2008 and is at present working to achieve market access for Irish pigmeat to Mexico.

Market access to Mexico for Irish pigmeat exports could provide niche opportunities in a market that imports 1.3 million tonnes of pigmeat annually, according to Bord Bia.

Ireland does not currently have market access for poultry meat to China. Chinese poultry imports are expected to grow significantly in the short to medium term as a result of supply constraints for pigmeat.

For 2019, Chinese poultry imports are expected to increase by 83% to 642,000t compared to the previous year.

This programme aims to help to build awareness of the European and Irish poultry sectors among Chinese consumers and lay the ground work for securing access to the Chinese market, Bord Bia concluded.