Opening up access for Irish meat to the vast Chinese market will be a key element of a major trade mission to the country this week being lead by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.
Commenting on the focus on Irish beef during the mission, Minister Coveney said progressing access for Irish meat products will also be a key strategic target of the visit with a clear focus on beef.
He said this has been the subject of discussion between Ireland and China at the highest political levels over the last two years.
“We have made good progress in that time and I will again be seeking substantive progress the issue in my meetings with Chinese political counterparts next week.”
The Minister also said securing access for Irish lamb will also take a major step forward next week.
“I will be formally submitting a completed technical dossier for consideration by the Chinese authorities which is the key first step in securing access. I will also be pursuing access for poultry products and asking the Chinese authorities to give consideration to progressing this dossier,” he said.
Minister Coveney will also open the largest ever Irish pavilion at the China Seafood & Fisheries Expo which takes place in Qingdao this week and will include representatives from eleven Irish seafood companies, with in excess of 25,000 visitors expected from over 100 countries.
He stated that China continues to be a growing market for Irish seafood and with exports increasing by over 300% between since 2011 to reach €18 million in 2013. This strong trend in Irish exports to the region is continuing in 2014 with sales for the first 6 months up 56% compared to the same period last year.