A report launched today by Asia Matters and KPMG focuses on the opportunities for the Irish agri-food industry in meeting future food supply demands in Asia as the sector gears up to achieve targets of doubling agri exports globally by 2025.
The Strategic Importance of Asia for Ireland’s Agri-food Sector looks at current exporting trends from
Ireland to Asia and future opportunities, the conditions needed for Ireland to remain competitive
and practical advice for businesses seeking to establish or expand their presence in Asia. Asia
Matters is Ireland’s only Asian think tank organisation.
The report states that as Asian countries advance to become the foremost consumers of global food
supply, Irish businesses across agriculture, food and beverage, fisheries and fish processing
industries have a unique opportunity to leverage competitive advantages such as Ireland’s reputable
quality assurance regimes, world class research capabilities, human capital and positive trading
relationships to gain further foothold in Asia.
Addressing the scale of the opportunity for Irish businesses, Michael Creed, TD and Minister for
Agriculture, Food and the Marine said: “Our agri-food sector is heavily export focused – we are a
country of over 5 million that produces enough food to feed over 50 million people. There is huge
potential for the development of new markets for Irish agri-food exports in Asia.”
Alan Dukes, Chairman, Asia Matters and former Minister for Agriculture added that “Understanding
the future Asian demand for food is vital if Ireland is to succeed in the rapidly evolving Asian markets.
Ireland is well positioned to achieve ambitious targets of almost doubling agri exports by 2025.”
The report also outlines a number of priorities for Ireland’s agri-food export sector to remain a
contender in satisfying the demand for quality, safe and nutritious food to rapidly growing consumer
middle classes in Asia including:
– Consistently delivering world-class biosecurity
– Further developing awareness of ‘green’ brand in Asian countries
– Prioritising sustainable food production
– Signing high quality trade agreements with Asian customers
– Articulating a collective industry vision
– Investing time and resources in understanding Asian consumer trends
Head of agribusiness with KPMG in Ireland, David Meagher, reiterated the importance of Ireland’s
competitiveness globally amid ongoing regulatory, geographical and sustainability challenges saying:
“We know that Asian demand is on the rise, and that Ireland produces very high quality food, but to
capitalise on the opportunity amid common global trading challenges, we must excel in developing
trusting relationships with trading partners and deepening our understanding of Asian consumers.”
The report also includes specific sector insights on dairy, meat, seafood and chocolate confectionery
and insights from industry leaders Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia; Sean Ryan, General Manager,
Ornua Asia; and John Hawkins, CEO, Carbery Group.