Chinese sign agreement with Ireland on food safety

MInister Simon Coveney in China last year
MInister Simon Coveney in China last year
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Ireland has signed a memorandum of understanding on food safety with China after a senior minister paid a three day visit to dairy farms and processing factories.

Speaking at the China-Ireland Food Safety Forum on the dairy and infant formula sectors last week, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said Ireland's agri-food exports to China have grown over 270pc to €620m in just five years. Mr Coveney added that dairy exports from Ireland to China rose 25pc last year.

During the meeting in the Department's complex in Backweston, Co Kildare, China's minister with responsibility for Food and Drug Administration, Bi Jingquan, signed the memorandum which involves an exchange of information on food safety standards.

Mr Coveney said Ireland had a strong reputation for food safety standards.

The Chinese delegation visited a Wicklow dairy farm and will also visit the Danone plant in Co Wexford and Kerry Group in Naas. Awareness of food safety has grown in China since it was hit by the melamine-tainted milk scandal.

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