Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) has welcomed the granting of access for Irish beef to China. Ireland is the first European beef exporter to secure access to China, where consumers’ appetite for the meat is growing steadily. According to Bord Bia, China officially imported more than 700,000 tonnes of beef in 2017 – a figure expected to double by 2020.
In China, annual per capita beef consumption is low at 4-6kg, compared to 19kg in Ireland. However, consumption is on the rise. An average annual increase of just 1kg per capita equates to an additional 1.38 million tonnes of beef per annum, and by 2020, it is estimated Chinese consumers will eat close to 9 million tonnes of beef.
Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, says: “Ireland’s agri-food industry already enjoys a strong trade relationship with China. Exports were valued at almost €1 billion last year, while China is our second largest export market for dairy and pork, behind the UK. The opening of Irish beef access is testimony to our industry’s strength, reputation and proven track record in the Chinese market.”
Last year, Bord Bia won a contract to promote EU beef and lamb in China, Japan and Hong Kong in a campaign valued at €3.75 million. The timing of the campaign (2017-2019) will be beneficial to Ireland’s beef exporters, as Bord Bia’s management of the initiative has widened the recognition of Ireland as a secure supplier of safe and sustainably produced beef and lamb. Targeting importers, retailers, foodservice providers, chefs and media outlets, the campaign is focused on digital media, PR, trade fairs, seminars and inward visits to Ireland. Under this EU-funded programme, Bord Bia and leading Irish beef exporters will attend five major beef trade exhibitions – two in Japan, one in Hong Kong and two in China, including SIAL China, the largest food trade fair in China, which takes place in Shanghai next month. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD and Bord Bia will lead an agri-food Trade Mission to China in May, where the Minister will visit the SIAL China to help promote Irish beef and pork among the Chinese audience.
Having recently placed additional resources in the Chinese market to help support Irish food and drink exporters to develop their market share, Bord Bia is now seeking to recruit two additional market specialists to further support this work.
Exports to China
Total Irish agri-food trade exports to China reached €974 million last year, more than doubling since 2013. China is now our third largest market overall. Dairy exports reached €667 million and pigmeat exports were over €100 million in 2017. Food and drink is Ireland’s most important export category to China, contributing nearly 80 percent to the total value of exports.
Pictured at Bord Bia’s recent Marketplace International 2018 were: Tara McCarthy, CEO Bord Bia, and Ray Li, Chinalight Resources. Marketplace 2018 was the largest international food buyer event ever staged in Ireland, with food and drink trade buyers from 50 countries travelling to meet, and do business, with the Irish food and drink industry.