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Thursday 19 April 2018

Dairy and beef promotions in Tokyo dominate day two of agri-food trade mission to Asia

Minister Creed meeting with Japanese State Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Yousuke Isozaki
Minister Creed meeting with Japanese State Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Yousuke Isozaki
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Day two of the Government of Ireland's Agri-Food Trade Mission to Asia focused on raising Ireland's profile across meat and dairy sectors. 

The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed also met with Japan’s State Minister for Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Yousuke Isozaki.

Commenting on his meeting with Minister Isozaki, Minister Creed said “following on from yesterday’s meeting with the Minister for Health, Labour and Welfare, this was another opportunity to raise awareness of Ireland as a strategic partner from a food perspective. 

"We also discussed our ambition to raise the 30 month age limit on beef imports and market access for sheep meat.  Minister Isozaki, who also holds responsibility for the equine sector was interested to hear about Ireland’s success as a world leader in the Thoroughbred Horse industry.”  Parallel to the meeting Department officials held technical discussions with their Japanese counterparts.

The day's events commenced with an Origin Green Seminar which focused on food safety controls in the dairy sector. At the Seminar, Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy spoke of the importance of promoting Irish food safety in Japan:

"Japan has one of the most highly-respected food safety systems in the world, and we need to assure potential Japanese customers that our own dairy system is of a similarly high standard. Japan is one of our key overseas markets, where our sustainability credentials are a key competitive advantage."

The Minister later participated in an Ireland Japan Meat Round Table, hosted by Bord Bia and focused on sharing insights and information on the Japanese and EU meat markets.

Following this, Minister Creed spoke at the EU Beef and Lamb Technical Forum, which presented an opportunity to introduce major Japanese beef buyers to EU beef. Today's technical presentations outlined the high standards of food safety, quality assurance and traceability associated with beef from the European Union.

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Minister Creed spoke at the Forum about Ireland's trade relationship with Japan and said it was a great opportunity to build on the positive outcome of the trade agreement this summer between the EU and Japan.

"Beef trade between Ireland and Japan has been growing, and it's important to advance that trade, but also to look at the sheepmeat sector. The Department has already begun negotiations towards sheepmeat access for Ireland, and I am confident that these talks will progress."

The Minister then met representative from Meiji Dairy, a major dairy company in the Japanese market. Meiji dairy has long established business connections and research collaborations with Ireland over the past 15 years. During the meeting, Minister Creed briefed Meiji representatives on agriculture in Ireland, our safety control and ambitious targets for the Irish food industry.

The day's events culminated with a 'Flavour of Ireland' networking reception. The reception gave Irish agri-food representatives accompanying the trade mission an opportunity to meet potential Japanese customers for Irish food.

Tomorrow, the trade mission will travel to South Korea for meetings with relevant Ministers, Government officials and industry representatives.

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