Minister Creed leads Trade Visit to China

10 November 2019

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D. will this week lead a trade visit to Shanghai and Beijing, strengthening trading relationships and creating opportunities for the Irish agri-food and drinks sector, and in particular Irish beef,  to grow further in this valuable market.

He stated ‘‘this visit will build on the recent approval of an additional tranche of 14 beef plants to export to China, with a total of 21 beef plants are now approved to export.”

Following a process of negotiations over several years, market access for Irish beef was announced in April 2018, with exports commencing that summer. By the end of 2018 over 1,200 tonnes, valued at €2.3 million, had been exported.

Minister Creed commented “Exports this year have already risen to 4,600 tonnes, valued at over €21 million, to the end of August (based on latest available CSO trade statistics).  With the approval of the additional plants allowing for greater supply, there is now significant potential for future growth”.

Minister Creed will be accompanied by senior officials from his Department, and Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia.

Speaking in advance of the visit Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said, “Chinese market access and beef plant approvals spearheaded by Department of Agriculture Food & Marine, alongside Bord Bia’s intensive Chinese market insight work over three years have laid the foundation for long term growth in the Chinese market.  The upcoming trade visit represents an exciting next phase in our strategy where we will build awareness and drive sales of Irish beef by forging new relationships and deepening existing links with key Chinese food service and eCommerce customers.  Our 2020 marketing strategy for China will systematically build the reputation of food brand Ireland among Chinese customers and consumers; starting with the announcement next week of a major promotion that will place Irish beef front and centre with Chinese consumers”.           

Minister Creed concluded ‘‘in line with the market development theme of our shared Food Wise 2025 strategy for the sustainable growth of the sector, increasing access, developing and expanding our exports to China is a priority for my Department, working in close collaboration with Bord Bia, the Irish Embassy and the agri-food sector as a whole.”

The visit will include a Government to Government meeting, to advance market access priorities, including sheepmeat access, and to discuss the recent announcement of an EU-China agreement on Geographical Indicators, which is very positive for Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream.

Note for editors:


1. Shanghai, Tuesday 12 November

Minister Creed will attend the Food Hotel Expo.

Meetings with key Chinese customers.

Attend Irish beef seminar and demo.


2. Beijing Wednesday 13 November

Business meetings with key customers, press conference and promotion event for Chinese media in the Irish Embassy Beijing.

Ministerial meeting with GACC (General Administration of Customs in China).


The value of Irish exports to China in 2018 was almost €800 million, a nearly fourfold increase from €200 million in 2010, according to CSO trade statistics (which include non-edible exports such as forestry as well as food and drinks). China is currently Ireland’s 5th most important agri-food export market.

Dairy products accounted for €541 million of total exports, built on Ireland’s reputation as a leading producer of high quality, safely and sustainably produced dairy products. 

China is also a key destination for exports of Irish pigmeat (worth almost €80m in 2018, and €93m in 2019 to end August); and seafood exports (€53m last year).


Original Press Release, click here