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Taoiseach and Minister Coveney On Trade Mission To Japan

30th November 2013 - Simon Coveney TD

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. will, together with the Taoiseach, lead a delegation of Irish agri-food companies on a trade mission to Japan this weekend. The Minister will use the opportunity to promote the Irish food and drinks industry and will be supported by 13 food companies as well as representatives from Bord Bia, Teagasc and IBEC.

During meetings with major Japanese food processors and importers, the Minister will highlight the opportunities Irish companies can offer, stressing the quality and safety of Ireland’s food production and processing systems and its emphasis on sustainable methods of production of food and drink.

The Minister commented:

This visit is a tremendous opportunity for Irish food business operators to build contacts with the influential traders and potential purchasers of their products in a key overseas market for their exports. Japan is a sophisticated premium market which values high quality, sustainable and safe food and this is exactly the offer that we will be emphasising this week. The fact that the Taoiseach is lending his weight to this effort is testament to the critical importance of the Irish agri food sector to economic recovery, and I am delighted to be able to represent the Irish food sector in their efforts to build opportunities in international markets.

Japan is an importer of Irish pig-meat, dairy and seafood and was a valuable customer for Irish beef prior to the closure of the market to European beef in 2001. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has for some time been engaged in detailed technical negotiations to reopen the market for beef and good progress is being made.

During the visit Mr. Coveney and his officials will meet with the Japanese Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mr. Yoshimasa HAYASHI who plays a key role in market access for beef. At the meeting the Minister will highlight the ongoing cooperation between the Irish and Japanese authorities and emphasise the importance of Ireland as a significant exporter of high quality food products.

Concluding, the Minister said:
this visit marks another step in our efforts to access key international markets for Irish food and builds on other successful visits I have led to China, the U.S. and the Gulf States. I am very
confident that this visit will be equally successful and will open doors for Irish companies in this potentially lucrative marke

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