Hogan heads east for ‘high-level’ mission to Japan

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan is in Japan on a ‘high-level’ mission, along with 61 delegates from the European agri-food sector.

The trip kicked off yesterday, Wednesday, May 8, and will conclude on Saturday, May 11, when Commissioner Hogan will take part in the G20 Agricultural Ministers’ Meeting in the city of Niigata.

The purpose of the visit is to promote European agri-food and beverage exports in Japan, and to ensure that EU producers benefit “to the fullest possible extent” from trading opportunities under the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

The trade agreement has been in place since February 1 of this year.

It is hoped that the trip will familiarise the travelling business delegates with the Japanese market, particularly the characteristics of consumer trends in the Asian country.

They will also have the chance to meet with representatives of the Japanese retail industry and potential business partners there.

Over the course of the four days, a series of talks and seminars will be given on these issues.

Among the delegation will be representatives from three Irish organisations: Bord Bia; Glanbia; and the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The theme for the G20 Agricultural Ministers’ Meeting is “Toward Sustainable Agro-Food Sector – Emerging Issues and Good Practices”.

Some of the main issues to be discussed include: fostering innovative human resources and new technologies; focusing on the ‘food value chain’ (FVC), and facilitating farmers and other FVC stakeholders; and pursuing possible contributions to achieving sustainable development goals.