Five Irish processing plants have been approved to supply Mexico with pork, it was announced today.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed today announced that Ireland has secured access for the export of pigmeat to Mexico.
Five processing plants and five coldstores in Ireland have been approved by Mexico to supply frozen raw pork, but the Department did not release details of these.
"Gaining access for pigmeat exports to Mexico highlights again the value of investing in strategic relationships in priority markets. Credit is due in particular to the Embassy of Ireland in Mexico, Ambassador Barbara Jones and my Department’s agricultural attaché in the Embassy, Gráinne Roughan, for their contribution.”
He said this achievement follows a number of important steps undertaken by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Bord Bia, and the Embassy of Ireland in Mexico, in cooperation with industry, over several years:
The Minister led Ireland's first ever trade mission to Mexico in 2017 and a year later, in November 2018, the Mexican authorities inspected operational facilities and official controls at Irish processing plants and coldstores.
Last year, DAFM seconded an agricultural attaché to the Irish Embassy in Mexico City, to support and develop the Embassy’s focus on agri-food trade opportunities and market access.
Mexico is a large consumer market, with a population of 120 million. Pork is highly regarded by consumers as a healthy source of protein and is consumed on a daily basis in a variety of dishes.
According to Bord Bia, a growing import demand, which sees the market import in the region of 1m tonnes of pigmeat annually, is driven by a growing middle class and greater urbanisation. Imports currently account for 38% of total pigmeat consumption, with further growth anticipated. The scale of these imports, makes Mexico the third largest global importer of pigmeat.
Recent research by Bord Bia suggests that there will be opportunities for Irish pigmeat companies supplying frozen leg and shoulder products in particular.
Securing this access particularly in light of the recently agreed EU-Mexico Global Agreement which will significantly reduce tariff barriers to trade, will provide new export market opportunities for Irish pigmeat and the wider sector as it continues to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Access to more non-EU markets should bolster the profile of Irish pigmeat products in international markets which were worth €275m, or 31% of the total value of Irish pigmeat exports in 2019.