A key element of the of a major trade mission to China this week will be building on the rapidly growing volume of dairy and infant formula exports from Ireland to China.

Leading the mission Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said this will be the main focus of an Ireland-China dairy seminar in Beijing on Tuesday, November 5.

The event is set to include speakers from all of the main dairy companies located in Ireland who export to China and is aimed at further increasing Ireland’s presence in the fast growing Chinese market.

Commenting on the seminar the Minister said this seminar is aimed at expanding Ireland’s footprint in the rapidly expanding Chinese dairy market which has already seen growth of 100% in the last two years and last year was worth €270m.

“With the abolition of dairy quotas from next April it is essential that the Irish dairy and infant formula sector has outlets for its expanded product range. This seminar builds on the successful audit of our Dairy systems and establishments earlier this year by the Chinese authorities and provides a platform for Irish business to gain further foothold in the market. In addition I will also be launching a number of premium dairy Irish products which are going on sale in China,” he said.

Minister Coveney said that the growing demand for food products in a market as large as China’s was simply too important to ignore.

“Thanks to a collaborative approach from Government and Industry over the last two and a half years, Irish companies have already made significant inroads into the Chinese market. I am delighted to be in a position to build on that momentum and ensure that the Irish brand in China becomes synonymous with world class standards of production, food safety and sustainability.

“I am confident that this mission will enhance Ireland’s reputation and make a significant contribution to developing the footprint of Irish companies in this critically important market.”