Minister Michael Creed TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today concluded the first agri-food trade mission to Indonesia and Malaysia with a series of high level meetings in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
“I am pleased to confirm that, after a very productive meeting with my counterpart, the Malaysian Minister for Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Minister Salahuddin, a veterinary health certificate for the export of pigmeat from Ireland to Malaysia has been agreed. This is very positive news, as the Malaysian market has been on the radar of our pigmeat industry for some time,” Minister Creed said.
“Obviously there are a number of steps remaining before market access is finalised, including an inspection visit from the Malaysian authorities. But agreement on a veterinary health cert is an important milestone in this process. It follows on from technical discussions between officials from my Department and their Malaysian counterparts, as well as my bilateral meeting with Minister. This really underlines the value of trade missions in progressing our market access efforts.”
Malaysia is one of the top five meat markets studied by Bord Bia as part of its market prioritisation exercise on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
“Poultry is another meat that has been of significant interest to Ireland in terms of market access and today’s meetings served as a useful chance to discuss our ongoing poultry application,” Minister Creed said.
Minister Creed concluded the meeting with Minister Salahuddin by inviting the Minister and colleagues to visit Ireland in 2019 for further discussions on areas of mutual cooperation.
Earlier, Minister Creed had opened a Bord Bia dairy conference, which hosted over 70 Malaysian dairy buyers, importers and foodservice operators to learn about Irish dairy production. The seminar focused on raising awareness of Ireland as a source of sustainable dairy, enhancing the Irish Industry’s understanding of the Malaysian market. It was followed by business meetings between Irish dairy companies and potential Malaysian partners.
Minister Creed stated: “This is an excellent opportunity to bring targeted retail buyers, suppliers and consumers together. Having our own Irish dairy companies here working together to promote Irish dairy in general, as well as their own particular brands, is an excellent chance to showcase the best of Irish dairy, based on our excellent food safety and controls systems, to a wider audience.”
The East Coast Economic Region Development Council where Malaysia was described as a gateway for Ireland for the dairy and seafood sectors. Minister Creed concluded the meeting by stating: “We agreed to explore collaboration in a number of areas, including research and development and post graduate opportunities.” Minister Creed also held a number of business meetings, including:
- A meeting with the Malaysian Meat Importers Association for a detailed discussion on the latest trends in the meat market in Malaysia.
- A visit to a Kerry Ingredients plant showcased the international success of this Irish company and showed the potential there is for more Irish companies to be successful in this opportune market.
The trade mission will conclude with the formal launch by Minister Creed of the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Malaysia at a reception hosted by Ireland’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Éamon Hickey.
Tara McCarthy CEO of Bord Bia commented: “Following an intensive week of customer engagement, involving more than 150 business meetings, two Origin Green dairy seminars for local importers and Irish industry immersion in the market, Bord Bia will build on this to help the dairy industry capitalise on the real commercial opportunity. This will include continuing to build awareness of Irish dairy, increasing market understanding and developing business on the ground, which is all supported by the appointment of a new Trade Market Specialist in Bord Bia’s Singapore office.”
Concluding, Minister Creed said: “This week’s trade mission has raised awareness of Ireland as a source of sustainable food produce and enhanced Indonesia and Malaysia’s understanding of Irish dairy and meat markets and facilitated opportunities for Irish exporters.”