Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Martin Heydon, is leading an Irish trade mission to Mexico today (Friday, April 29).

And, the timely trade mission coincides with the arrival of the first shipment of Irish pork to Mexico, the minster has said.

While there, he will launch a new initiative to provide support for female rural entrepreneurs in Mexico.

Trip to Mexico

The minister, who has special responsibility for new market access, made a stop in San Antonio, Texas, along the way to meet with leadership of H-E-B supermarkets, which is a key stockist of Irish products.

He then moved on to Mexico City for a trade networking event, hosted by the Embassy of Ireland, focussing on Irish pigmeat as part of Bord Bia’s EU pigmeat promotional programme.

In Mexico, he is joined DAFM officials; Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy; and the Embassy of Ireland, for meetings with senior ministers of the Mexican government, and members of the National Agricultural Council.

He will also host a business dinner for key members of the Irish business and agri-food business community in Mexico.

Commenting, Minister Heydon said:

“Mexico is an important and growing market for Irish agri-food. It is especially timely to visit just as the first shipment of Irish pork arrives in Mexico.

“My department is working closely with their counterparts to enhance market access for Irish agri-food exports, including expanded access for pigmeat products, and this trade mission is an opportunity to raise these requests at political level.”

He thanked the Ambassador of Ireland to Mexico, Maeve von Heynitz, and his department’s agricultural attaché, Gráinne Roughan, for their support during the trade mission.

Female agri-entrepreneurs

Commenting on the launch of supports for female rural entrepreneurs in Mexico, Minister Heydon said:

“I am honoured to launch a Female Rural Entrepreneurs Programme in Mexico, supported and jointly funded by my department in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

“The programme, which builds on Ireland’s strong international relationship with FAO and draws experience from our successful ACORNs Programme in Ireland, will focus on empowering female entrepreneurs in the Mexican state of Jalisco through mentorship and peer support improving and enhancing engagement in the rural economy, and increased resilience.”

“In Ireland, our Food Vision 2030 strategy calls out the key role of women in our farming and food communities; but acknowledges that their contribution needs to be better recognised and supported.”

Pork campaign

Today, Bord Bia has announced details of a three-year campaign that will help to build awareness of Ireland as a supplier of high-quality, safe, and sustainably produced pork.

The €3.8 campaign – European Pork and Poultry: Excellence in Quality Assurance and Food Safety – focuses exclusively on pork for Mexico, and targets a population of 126 million people.

To promote the €3.8 million campaign, Bord Bia invited Mexican government officials and food industry representatives including top importers, distributors, and wholesalers, as well as media to an EU Pork seminar at the Irish embassy in Mexico City featuring presentations on Irish pork and production.