15 November 2017
By Mary Bermingham
Creed Moves From Japan To South Korea For Second Leg of Government Agri-Food Trade Mission.
Today marked the final day of the Japanese leg of the Government of Ireland Agri-Food Trade Mission to Asia. For the trade mission’s final scheduled event in Japan, Minister Michael Creed T.D. held a productive meeting with Yakult Honsha, the dairy and pharmaceutical company known for its probiotic skimmed milk product. Yakult Honsha has built up strong business connections with Ireland over the past 15 years, and Yakult products are well-established in the Irish market. During the meeting the Minister discussed the potential for further collaboration with Ireland in the areas of research and procurement.
After the meeting, Minister Creed spoke about the Japan leg of the trade mission:
“The Japan phase of the mission has been extremely useful in gaining a better understanding of Japan’s priorities in the agrifood market whilst raising awareness of Ireland as a potential strategic partner. Japan has one of the most highly-respected food safety systems in the world, and it was important to get the opportunity to let potential Japanese customers know that our own systems are of a similarly high standard. The Ministries of Agriculture and Health both responded very positively to the issues raised, and it is clear that Japan is open to further cooperation and collaboration with Ireland. In addition, I was able to discuss the possibility of both expanding beef access and of gaining sheepmeat market access with Ministers Kato and Isozaki, and further dialogue was held on these matters at a technical level with my Department’s officials.”
The Minister also welcomed the high level of interaction between the travelling Irish companies with potential partners in Japan.
The trade mission will continue in South Korea, with trade events and Ministerial meetings scheduled over two days, before concluding on Friday. The Korean leg of the trade mission begins tomorrow with a meeting scheduled with the Korean Minister for Agriculture, Minister Kim Yung-Rok. Beef is expected to be a major focus of the Korean ministerial meetings. Ireland is currently at an advanced stage in negotiations to gain access to the Korean beef market. Minister Creed will also participate in an Origin Green Dairy Seminar tomorrow, as well as hosting a networking event for Irish agrifood representatives to meet Korean industry experts and potential customers.