Bord Bia Embarks On First Post-COVID-19 Trade Mission To China

By Dave Simpson
Bord Bia Embarks On First Post-COVID-19 Trade Mission To China

Bord Bia will host 14 Irish exporters on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's trade mission to China this week.


It is the first trade mission since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, following three years of restricted borders.

The focus of the trade mission, led by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, is about raising the profile of Irish food and drink with customers in Beijing and Shanghai through a series of events, and supporting the 14 Irish meat and dairy companies representing Ireland at SIAL, the largest food and drink trade show in China.

Speaking ahead of the trade mission, Minister McConalogue said, "With the resumption of Irish beef exports to the market this is an excellent opportunity to further promote the sector in China and to communicate Ireland's grassfed and premium farming credentials for both meat and dairy.

"It is timely that it is our first trip to China in three years as it comes amid an improved economic outlook plus a growing demand for value-added dairy ingredients to complement the fast-growing Chinese dairy sector. Bord Bia does a tremendous job promoting our word-class food and drink at home and abroad and I know it will help drive further added-value activity in China."


Bord Bia CEO Jim O'Toole said, "China has one of the largest populations in the world and its GDP per capita has increased tenfold in the last 20 years, making it the world’s second largest economy today. A growing middle class with high disposable incomes in Chinese cities is creating an aspirational consumer base, with an increasing interest in premium food products and access to sophisticated digital retail platforms. Irish exporters are ideally placed to service these consumer demands, as Ireland's focus on sustainably produced high-quality food and drink exports, backed by the Origin Green programme, offers the perfect solution to this growing Chinese market."

Trade Mission Events

The trade mission will begin in Beijing today (Monday 15 May) with bilateral government meetings between Irish and Chinese officials, while Bord Bia facilitates a series of meetings with customers of Irish food and drink. A major focus of the trip will be on the upcoming promotion of Irish beef and pigmeat across China in both retail - online and instore - and foodservice channels. The visit will also include an EU meat trade seminar in Shanghai and a chef masterclass in Beijing. Both events will bring together two of Bord Bia's EU co-funded campaigns - European Beef and Lamb - Ireland, working with nature and European Pork and Poultry - Excellence in Food Safety and Quality Assurance.

To support the dairy sector, Bord Bia is hosting a dairy seminar to connect Irish dairy companies with market customers in an effort to better understand individual market and consumer needs. The Irish Dairy Industry Development Seminar - partnering with China for a sustainable future will also provide insights for Irish companies around technology and innovation in China, new product applications, market trends and opportunities for the industry in coming years. This seminar will be followed with a business introductions event with over 80 meetings scheduled with potential local partners for the travelling Irish delegation.

In Shanghai, the delegation will attend SIAL, the largest food and drink trade show in China, where nine meat and five dairy companies from Ireland will be exhibiting across three booths - the Ireland pavilion, the European Pork & Poultry, and European Beef & Lamb stands. The trade mission activity at SIAL will focus on key customer meetings, launches for new Irish dairy products in the market, and retail and foodservice exploration tours.

And finally, there will be a focus on the seafood and drink industry. With Irish whiskey exports to mainland China growing almost sevenfold from 2018-2022, Bord Bia will aim to leverage this momentum by hosting an Irish whiskey masterclass in Shanghai to educate the bar trade on the Irish whiskey category. This masterclass will enable influential bartenders to become ambassadors of Irish whiskey in China and increase bar listings for Irish companies, who are consistently entering the market.


Similarly, Bord Bia will host a Seafood from Ireland master chef event, also in Shanghai, which will see top chefs create various dishes using Irish seafood.

Read More: Bord Bia Foodservice Market + Customer Insights Report Finds Positives In Pitfalls For Hospitality Industry

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