The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today continued his North American itinerary with a number of meetings with key international companies.
The Minister’s itinerary continues on to Canada tomorrow with a series of key meetings with political and sector related stakeholders. Irish food & drink exports to Canada in 2017 reached an estimated to €108m in 2017, representing 6% growth versus 2016 and 5 year growth of 37%.
Canada is Ireland’s 3rd most important export market for beverages after United States & Britain, valued at €62m in 2017. Dairy (butter, nutritional powders, cheese etc.) account for a further 10%. While pigmeat from Ireland has been imported for a number of years, modest volumes of beef and sheep-meat have also began to be traded in recently under an EU access agreement.
Canada is a significant importer across most food categories. In 2016, the value of Canadian dairy imports increased to $969.4 million. Top products imported by value were specialty cheeses (28%), followed by milk protein substances (16.1%), and butter and other fats and oils (13.6%).
The Minister noted
“The introduction of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada marks some significant changes in the trading relationship between both markets. Canada has eliminated duties for over 90% of all its agricultural tariff lines upon entry into force of CETA.”
After 7 years, the tariffs for approaching 92% of agricultural lines will be fully eliminated. For dairy, EU exporters now have a bilateral quota of over 18,000 tonnes of cheese, which more than doubles existing EU exports.
The changes associated with CETA make it timely for the Minister to engage in an exploratory trade mission to Canada. This Trade Mission will provide valuable market insights for travelling meat, beverage and grocery exporters to help them understand import requirements as well as consumer & market trends
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