Ministers Creed and Doyle lead major Irish Agri-Food trade mission to Asia

3rd September 2016

Asia TM Map

8 Days, 4 Countries, 2 Ministers, 1 Mission

Visit will promote Irish food and drink in China, Vietnam, Korea and Singapore

The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D. along with Minister of State Andrew Doyle T.D. will lead some [30] Irish agri-food and fisheries companies on a week-long trade mission to Asia, commencing this weekend. The visit begins tomorrow [Saturday 3rd September] and will see Minister Doyle head to Vietnam followed by Korea with Minister Creed departing on Monday to lead the visit to China and Singapore. 

In advance of his departure Minister Creed commented that, “I have chosen Asia for my first trade mission as Minister because I believe it offers enormous potential for the Irish food and drink industry to realise the targets set in the FoodWise 2025 strategy. Asia is already a key driver of Irish food exports in recent years, increasing threefold since 2010 to reach €954 million last year.  Exports to China alone grew by 16% in 2015 maintaining its position as our fifth most important market and our second largest for dairy and pork. Diversification of markets is a key goal of this strategy and Asia represents one of our major potential growth areas. This is even more important now as we face the uncertainty which the Brexit decision brings for exporters”.  

This region is a major importer of agri food and fisheries products and this mission provides Irish companies with an exciting opportunity to increase their profile there and build relationships with potential business partners and buyers.  Minister Creed continued “The Trade Mission will cover four Countries over eight days with a total of over seventy key engagements. I am pleased to be accompanied by some [30] Irish companies on the mission, along with senior officials from my Department and from State Agencies in the agri-food and fisheries sector, including Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, Sustainable Food Systems Ireland and the Seafisheries Protection Authority.”

Commenting on the Trade Mission, Minister Doyle said, “In order to succeed in Asia it is vital to develop relationships at government and business levels and to be guided by the best consumer and market insight available. I will use my bilateral engagements to remind our host countries that we can provide safe, secure and sustainably produced food and to assist Irish companies looking to gain new business there”

The key focus of the trade mission will be;

  • Showcasing Ireland as a source of high quality sustainably produced dairy products
  • Progressing market access for Irish meats in China, Vietnam and Korea
  • Expanding opportunities for our seafood sector
  • Promote Ireland as strategic partners for agri-food and agri-services
  • Facilitating and fostering increased business opportunities for Irish companies.

Commenting on the visit Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter said “Bord Bia’ s Consumer Insight Team had done considerable research work in the region in advance of the trade mission to enable exporters target growth areas in what is a diverse cultural and culinary region. In China alone there are eight culinary traditions while Vietnamese food has Chinese, French and American influences born of its rich historical past.  In an area of extreme weather events, issues such as food security, food safety and sustainable food production are at the forefront of Asian consumers` minds and the Irish food industry can respond to these concerns with Bord Bia`s Origin Green sustainability programme.”

In addition to the food producing companies, twelve non-food and agritech client companies of Enterprise Ireland are also participating on the trade mission. Agri-technologies is a priority sector for Asia Pacific with the current penetration of clients primarily focused on Australia, New Zealand and Korea. However, there is a growing presence in China, Vietnam and ASEAN markets, as we see an increasing demand for sophisticated products and technology. The top Agritech companies currently operating in the region include McHale, Dairymaster, Keenan, Tanco and SAMCO. The Ministers along with Enterprise Ireland will also be meeting with Asian Food companies during the week that are looking at Ireland as a

location for long term food R&D Collaboration with Irish companies, or as a location for dedicated food manufacturing. 

“This is further evidence of the ongoing success of Irish companies in exporting services and technology to Asian markets where non-food exports for the ASEAN region are €180m. Attracting this foreign direct investment into Ireland is the natural progression in capitalising on Ireland’s reputation for food safety systems and quality raw materials” said Michael Cantwell Divisional Manager of Enterprise Ireland’s Food Division.



The focus of the visit to China will see a two-stop promotional visit to Beijing and Shanghai. In Beijing Minister Creed will meet with political counterparts in Beijing on Wednesday 7 September with the key aim of furthering Ireland’s collaboration with China on a range of agri-food issues while also advancing Ireland’s market access requests. 

The keynote event of the week will come next Thursday 8 September when the Minister will co-host the “China-Ireland Global Food Partners” event in Beijing which will focus on further increasing Ireland’s profile as an exporter of sustainably produced premium food.  Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter will outline the assurance Origin Green give to Chinese buyers and Enterprise Ireland and Sustainable Food Systems Ireland will also set out the expertise it can bring to the Chinese agri-food industry. A Pork and Seafood Showcase will take place in the Irish Embassy to highlight the role of meat and seafood exports to China which will be attended by around 75 targeted guests and provide an opportunity to develop business connections between Irish companies and the select group of invitees from the Chinese food industry.

Commenting on the priorities for discussion in Beijing, Minister Creed said “the visit to Beijing and Shanghai will be focussed on further raising the profile of the Irish dairy, meat and seafood sectors. Both our seafood and pigmeat sectors have seen their exports double in the last three years while our dairy exports now there mark China as our second largest export market after the UK. This is a market with further room for growth and I am delighted to be assisting Irish exporters in exploiting the opportunities here. I will of course also be seeking to progress access for Irish beef products and will be raising it with Chinese political counterparts next week while Minister Doyle will be doing likewise when meeting with his Korean and Vietnamese counterparts. I am also pleased to be here to assist Bord Bia in the launch of their Origin Green message and website for the Chinese market. This has proved to be a key communications tool in communicating the best that Ireland has to offer in terms of sustainability”.



A key element of the visit the first ever Irish agri-food trade mission to Vietnam will be further raise awareness of Ireland in this growing market. This will be the main focus of an Ireland-Vietnam agri-food seminar in Hanoi on Monday 5th September. The event will include speakers from Vietnamese companies doing business with Ireland as well as from Irish companies and Agencies located in Ireland seeking to further increasing Ireland’s presence in the fast growing Vietnamese market. Between 2010 and 2014 exports of Irish food increased by a factor of four and while this comprised mostly of dairy products it was also made up of pigmeat, beverages, seafood and prepared foods.  

Commenting on the seminar, Minister Andrew Doyle said “I am delighted to be co-hosting this high-level event with my Vietnamese counterpart which is aimed at expanding Ireland’s footprint in this key target market for Irish agri-food exports. This event is already attracting huge media interest in Vietnam which will really help us to sell the image of Ireland as a premium producer of sustainable food. The event will also be a key networking opportunity for Irish companies with major Vietnamese buyers. This event will follow bilateral discussions which I will be having with the Vietnamese Minister for Agriculture at which I will be formally submitting Ireland’s application for beef access”.  



After Vietnam, Minister Doyle will depart for Korea for a three-day promotional visit which will include political bilateral with counterparts in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. Key among the issues here will be to discuss areas for deeper collaboration between both Countries in the agri-food. Korea is already a fast growing market for Irish dairy, pork and seafood exports and the Minister will be examining new opportunities to expand these.



In Singapore, Minister Creed will officially open the new Bord Bia office there.  This office will double Bord Bia’s presence in Asia by adding to its existing office in Shanghai and will service South East Asia, a region of dynamic economic activity with a population of over 600 million, greater than the EU.  The visit to Singapore will also include events promoting existing Irish exports there which include the full range of dairy, beef, lamb and poultry products.

Concluding, Minister Creed said that the growing demand for food products in Asia represents a major opportunity for Irish agri-food sector.” Irish companies have already made significant inroads into these markets but the potential is there for significant.  I am delighted that Minister Doyle and I are in a position to build on that momentum and ensure that the Irish brand in Asia becomes synonymous with world class standards of production, food safety and sustainability. We are targeting four key markets this week and  I am confident that this mission will enhance Ireland’s reputation and make a significant contribution to developing the footprint of Irish companies in that part of the world”.


Itinerary for Minister Creed

Monday 5th September

PM        Departure from Dublin Airport for Beijing Airport


Tuesday 6th September - Beijing                                                         

PM        Arrival in Beijing Airport

PM        Briefing of Minister


Wednesday 7th September - Beijing                                                   

AM        Briefing of Minister by Trade Delegation 

AM        Site visit to Dairy Company

PM        Meeting with AQSIQ (Political)

PM        Meeting with local dairy companies

PM         Reception at Embassy of Ireland for Trade Delegation and meetings with companies PM         Media briefing

PM        Briefing of Minister by Trade Delegation


Thursday 8th September - Beijing/Shanghai                                                   

AM        Meeting with official delegation 

AM        Meeting with China Food and Drug Administration (Political)

AM        Seminar: Promotion of Ireland as producer of safe sustainable food

AM        Meeting with local food companies

PM        Site visit Dairy company

PM        Media briefing 

PM        Departure for Shanghai

PM        Arrival in Shanghai


Friday 9th September - Shanghai                                                        

AM        Meeting with Trade Delegation (meat sector)

AM        Company meetings

AM        Dairy promotion event                

AM        Equine meetings

AM        Company meetings 

AM        Launch event

PM        Media briefing

PM        Company meetings (Dairy)

PM        Company site visit (R&D)

PM        Depart for Singapore     


Saturday 10th September - Singapore                                               

AM        Arrive Singapore                                                        

AM        Briefing of Minister by Trade Delegation

AM        Irish Food promotion

AM        Company site visit          

AM        Opening of office / showcase of Irish Food

PM        Meeting with Ministry of National Development

PM        Business reception

PM        Depart for Dublin



Itinerary for Minister Doyle


Saturday 3rd September                                                        

PM        Depart for Hanoi


Sunday 4th September - Hanoi                                            

PM        Arrive in Hanoi

PM        Briefing of Minister by Ambassador and Trade Delegation


Monday 5th September  - Hanoi                                                         

AM        Meeting with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Political)

 AM        Meeting with Ministry for Planning and Investment

AM        Development meetings 

PM        Meeting with companies

PM        Seminar: Ireland and Vietnam - Partnership in Agri-Food             

PM        Local media briefing

PM        Company meetings

PM        Business networking event for Trade Delegation / showcase of Irish Food

PM        Media briefing

PM        Briefing of Minister by Trade Delegation


Tuesday 6th September - Hanoi                                                          

AM        Meat Seminar

AM        Depart for Irish Aid projects

PM        Irish Aid Projects

PM        Return to Hanoi

PM        Reception for industry and senior local representatives / showcase Irish Food


Wednesday 7th September – Hanoi / Seoul                                      

AM        Local media interviews

AM        Depart for Seoul             

PM        Arrive in Seoul  


Thursday 8th September - Seoul                                                         

AM        Briefing of Minister by Trade Delegation

PM        Department store visit / promotion of Irish Food

PM        Company site visit

PM        Meeting with Ministry for Ocean & Fisheries

PM        Company meetings (dairy)          

PM        Local media interview    

PM        Taste of Ireland-Irish Food Networking     


Friday 9th September - Seoul                                                

AM        Depart for Sejong city

AM        Meeting with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Political)

AM        Depart for Cheongju                    

PM        Meeting with Ministry of Food & Drug Safety

PM        Company site visit (agri tech)

PM        Depart for Dublin


Saturday 10th September PM        Arrive in Dublin


For further information contact