Department of Agriculture to lead trade mission to Algeria and Egypt

A trade mission to Algeria and Egypt is set to commence this weekand will be lead by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Bord Bia together with a delegation representing the Irish dairy industry and the livestock export sector.

According to a statement from the Department of Agriculture, both Algeria and Egypt offer “significant growth potential” for Irish agri-food exports.

The objectives of the trade mission are to progress opportunities for the Irish dairy and livestock sectors, raise awareness of Ireland as a source of high quality, safe and sustainable food, and to build strategic partnerships.

Algeria, with a population of 41 million people, has a self-sufficiency of only 40% in dairy products, and a growing demand for cheddar.

The total Irish agri-food exports to Algeria in 2018 amounted to €52 million, dominated by dairy exports, which have grown rapidly over the past few years.

Algeria is also a potentially important market for livestock exports, the statement explained.

Egypt, with a population of 100 million people, has dairy self-sufficiency of less than 75%. Irish agri-food exports to Egypt amounted to €33 million in 2018, with dairy and seafood the main export categories.

Department officials will engage with both the Algerian and the Egyptian competent authorities, with a view to further enhancing the terms of market access for both meat and livestock exports to those markets, as well as discussing possibilities for technical cooperation.

Speaking ahead of the trade mission, Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy said: “The relative close proximity of Ireland to the North African region coupled with our ability to supply high quality, sustainably-produced dairy ingredients – in a region with growing dairy import needs – make this an opportune time to visit the priority markets of Algeria and Egypt.

Informed by insights that pinpoint us to where the opportunities lie for the continued growth of Irish food and drink exports, Bord Bia has created a bespoke itinerary for Irish exporters in Algeria and Egypt.

Activities during the four-day trade mission include a programme of 150 one-to-one business meetings between specially selected buyers and Irish suppliers who are best positioned to meet their import needs.

Sustainable Food Systems Ireland, a collaboration across the Irish state agencies responsible for developing and regulating the agri-food sector, will also participate in the trade mission.