Irish trade mission in north Africa comes to ‘successful conclusion’

A trade mission to two countries in north Africa by members of Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has come to a “successful conclusion”.

According to a statement from the department, the trade mission to Egypt and Algeria “raised awareness of Ireland as a source of high-quality, safe and sustainable food, and developed opportunities for strategic partnerships”.

In Cairo – the capital city of Egypt – department officials, along with the Irish Embassy team, engaged with their Egyptian counterparts to discuss technical issues in relation to market access.

As well as representatives of the department and Bord Bia, the Irish delegation also included representatives of sustainable food systems Ireland, and a delegation from the Irish dairy and livestock sectors.

The delegation had a detailed meeting with the country’s deputy minister for agriculture, Mostafa El Sayad, who agreed that Egyptian inspectors would conduct a systems audit in Irish beef and sheepmeat plants in 2020.

At present, Ireland already has beef access to Egypt, and department officials submitted a proposed veterinary heath certificate for sheepmeat.

In Algeria, the mission resulted in the expansion of market access for Irish livestock exports to the country, with the approval of the export of cattle for slaughter.

The department expressed its gratitude to Irish Ambassador to Algeria Eamon Hickey; and Seán O’Regan, Irish Ambassador to Egypt; and their respective teams, for their help in making this week’s trade mission a success.

Members of Bord Bia facilitated around 150 face-to-face business meetings, introducing “targeted potential buyers to the traveling Irish companies”.

Bord Bia said that it will be following up on contacts made this week by attending the Gulford Trade Show in Dubai this month.