Irish delegation meets China’s 2 largest dairy companies

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed met the executive leadership teams of China’s two leading dairy companies, Yili and Mengniu, in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia today, Thursday, May 16.

“Inner Mongolia is famous as the home of the Chinese dairy industry, based on a tradition going back thousands of years,” Minister Creed commented.

“Today’s meetings provided a unique opportunity to interact with these global companies on their home territory,” the minister added.

Minister Creed led a delegation from his department, Bord Bia and the Embassy of Ireland Beijing, together with representatives from some of Ireland’s key dairy companies with significant experience in the Chinese market – Kerry Group, Glanbia and Dairygold.

“Today’s activities provided a good example of the practical benefits of a Ministerial Trade Mission,” the minister continued.

“The focus of our discussions was the opportunity for strategic business-to-business partnerships – Ireland’s dairy offering, based on the best of nature and science, with a strong focus on bespoke dairy ingredients and solutions, resonated strongly with the Chinese industry.”

Dairy consumption per capita in China is one third of global average consumption, and half of consumption per capita in Asia as a whole – but is on a strong growth path.

Opportunities were identified on a range of different market segments, ranging from cheese products for children to specialised nutrition for the elderly.

Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, also commented on the matter, noting: “Bord Bia has identified China as a priority market for Ireland’s dairy, beef and seafood sectors.

“And although we already have a strong market presence in dairy, meetings with global leaders like Yilli and Megniu are essential as we look to broaden our customer base and partner with some of the fastest growing dairy companies in the world who increasingly are based in Asia.”

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