Trade mission to Indonesia and Malaysia kicks off today

Reporting from Indonesia

The first ever Irish agri-food trade mission to Indonesia and Malaysia, kicks off today (Monday, October 29). Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD heads up the mission, along with Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy.

The mission focuses mainly on the marketing of dairy and beef products.

At present, 630,000t of international dairy ingredients are imported into Indonesia and Malaysia.

These countries depend largely on India and Oceania for imported food. However, demand in the region is growing for sustainable sources of ingredients from Europe.

Bord Bia’s prioritising markets study ranked Indonesia and Malaysia in the top five markets for both meat and dairy products.

This is due to the expanding middle class, which is resulting in a growing demand for consumer foods, made from quality ingredients.

Speaking about the opportunity the markets present, Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia’s CEO said: “The opportunity is significant as the middle classes grow, the adoption of dairy increases and consumer demand for dairy innovations grow.

Our industry needs to explore ways of developing products in line with local taste preferences and demand for functionality around protein and calcium.

“There is potential to deliver a unique message for Ireland around our natural, sustainable dairy industry, which is already in line with their values,” she said.

The main objective of the trade mission will be to:
  • Build awareness of Ireland;
  • Build awareness of the country as a source of sustainable dairy products;
  • Enhance Ireland’s understanding of the meat market;
  • Deliver lead generation opportunities for exporters;
  • Government-to-government engagement.

Work in the region to date

Bord Bia established  a Singapore office in 2016. The office aims to build awareness of Ireland in the south and east Asia regions – this includes 8 different markets.

The increasing middle classes in Indonesia and Malaysia – as well as other rapidly growing Asian economies – which were identified in Foodwise 2025 are a major reason for the development of a Bord Bia office in the south-east Asia region.

So far, Bórd Bia has focused its work on more established markets in the north-east Asia region. Additional staff are set to take up office in Tokyo (new post) and Singapore this year.