‘Vietnam is a market with enormous potential for our exporters’

The first ever Ministerial-led Irish food and drink trade mission to Vietnam is taking place this week.

It has been headed by the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle.

Minister Doyle led a delegation of 30 Irish food exporters on the first day of a trade mission with events in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, according to the Department.

Speaking from Hanoi Minister Doyle said, he is aiming to raise the profile of Ireland as a source for safe, secure and sustainably produced food.

While there is existing trade in Irish dairy, pigmeat and seafood here we know that there potential is there for this to significantly grow.

“With a young open and well educated population of 90m and a growing middle class, this is a market with enormous potential for our exporters,” Minister Doyle said.

The population of Vietnam is set to rise to 100m people by 2024, the equivalent of close to one fifth of the current EU population, the Department said.

Ireland’s food exports to Vietnam have grown six-fold in six years and last year were worth almost €36m, according to the Department.

Minister Andrew Doyle meeting Vice Minister of Ministry of Planning and Investment Mr Nguyen The Phuong on the first day of the trade mission to Asia
Minister Andrew Doyle meeting Vice Minister of Ministry of Planning and Investment Mr Nguyen The Phuong on the first day of the trade mission to Asia

Minister Doyle met with the Vietnamese Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vice-Minister for Planning and Investment.

“I took the opportunity in these bilateral meetings to further our trade priorities, notably the formal submission of Ireland’s application for access to the Vietnamese beef market.” Minister Doyle said after his meetings.

The Minister hosted a major conference in Hanoi called ‘Introducing the Irish food Industry’, which targeted key Vietnamese Government officials, food buyers, retailers, media and Irish exporters, according to the Department.

Vietnamese consumers were given assurances on food safety provided by Origin Green, an Irish sustainability programme, by Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter.

Cotter also gave a presentation on the market analysis and ethnographic work carried out by Bord Bia`s Consumer Insight team, at the conference introducing the Irish food sector, the Department said.

“Our Consumer Insight work has taught us what Vietnamese consumers value in terms of taste and sustainability, with balance in food as in life being an integral part of the Vietnamese culture,” Cotter said.

The Insight Team brought a group of Irish companies to Vietnam earlier this year to experience the food and retail culture to optimise their returns while inspiring new ideas on innovative product development and packaging that will be attractive to Vietnamese consumers, the Department said.

We will be explaining to food buyers and government officials how Origin Green works and how it assures them of a supply of safe secure and sustainably produced quality food.

In 2014 Bord Bia carried out a pigmeat market study in Vietnam and identified enormous potential which is being exploited by the industry with exports increasing by 400% between 2014 and 2015, according to the Department.

Meanwhile, Vietnam is the sixth largest pork producer in the world, with pork accounting for 65% of national meat consumption or around 4m tonnes, the Department said.