Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

Ireland needs to expand awareness in Japan as food producing nation

The city of Nagasaki is in Kyushu - the large southernmost Japanese island
The city of Nagasaki is in Kyushu - the large southernmost Japanese island
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Japan is home to 14 St Patrick's Day parades and an oilean pipe maker, but we need to raise awareness of Ireland in Japan as a food producing nation, according to Ireland's ambassador to Japan.

Ireland's Ambassador to Japan Anne Barrington said the country presents the best opportunity for Irish companies to expand in Asia, but that Ireland does not yet have the reputation for producing food that other countries have.

Speaking to delegates on a Trade Mission to Japan, she said "if you can do business in Japan you can do business anywhere in the world".

She also said that while Japanese people liked what they know about Ireland, we must as a nation grow the awareness of Ireland in Japan.

The Japanese population is passionate about food and prepared to pay a premium for quality food, she said.

"For Ireland to sell itself in Japan qualify food is necessary, but we need to grow awareness of our country."

Trade between Ireland and Japan accounts for almost 40pc of world trade and other the recent EU-Japan economic partnership agreement will present Ireland to increase its exports there.

With 40pc of Irish agri food exports going to the UK Ireland must look for new markets, according to the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

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He also said that relationships in Japan would help Irish businesses do business across Asia.

Ciaran Gallagher, Director of Bord Bia's Asia office, said that Japan imports more beef than Ireland produces and with a population of 126m presents huge opportunities for Irish agri food businesses.

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