Market development – developing new markets and growing existing markets, based on market insights – is one of the five themes of Food Wise 2025, the ten-year strategy for the agri-food sector. Market development and diversification is also a key response to the challenges which Brexit poses for the agri-food, in particular, the beef sector.
In April 2017 I launched a seven point action plan on market access. This is being implemented through a variety of actions, including, inter alia:
- A market prioritisation exercise and subsequent detailed studies carried out by Bord Bia on behalf of my Department. On meat the five ‘deep dive’ countries selected for detailed study were: Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Mexico & Malaysia
- A market access web portal was launched in May 2018, and available on my Department’s website provides a wide range of valuable information to exporters.
- An enhanced programme of Government agri-food trade missions. All of these trade missions involve collaborative planning and participation by both my Department and Bord Bia
Beef market access has been a key feature of these missions and over the last two years, trade missions have focused on key growth markets such as:
- Asia - China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia;
- North America - USA, Mexico and Canada; as well as,
- The Gulf States and Turkey.
These missions included participants from across the agri-food sector and featured extensive trade contacts as well as high-level political discussions. These and the other missions that my Department has under consideration for the first half of 2019 will serve to enhance and improve our existing levels of market access in these destinations.
According to Bord Bia, in 2018 beef worth an estimated €2.5 billion was exported. In 2018 a number of additional markets were opened by my Department including the Chinese beef market, and the markets for beef, sheepmeat and poultry in Kuwait and Qatar. In 2017 the Egyptian beef market was re-opened to Ireland and amended improved beef certificates were agreed with Singapore, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.