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Top Chinese Pork Producers on First Trade Visit

by 5m Editor
19 September 2011, at 9:27am

IRELAND - What has been described as the most significant food trade delegation from China to visit Ireland is visiting this week.

Hosted by the Irish Food Board, the delegation is being led by the China Meat Association, which operates at government level in China.

The delegation is made up of China’s leading pork companies, three of which are among the 10 largest food companies in the world, according to IrishTimes.com.

The companies process more than 40 million pigs per annum in the world’s largest pork producer.

China accounts for half the global production and consumption of pork.

The delegation has been touring Irish meat plants from where 18,000 tonnes of Irish-produced pork is expected to be exported to China this year.

The delegation forms a key part of a joint working programme agreed between An Bord Bia and the China Meat Association, which arose out of contacts made recently.

In June of this year, An Bord Bia made a keynote presentation on the capabilities of the Irish food industry to 500 Chinese meat industry leaders at the annual China Meat Association conference.

According to An Bord Bia, China is also emerging as an important importer of beef.

While market access has yet to open to Irish and European beef, opportunities for the Irish industry could be significant and the delegation’s visit will include a visit to a beef farm and processing plant.

Ireland was one of the first countries in the world to secure approval to supply mainland China with pork in 2006. Over the past number of years it has become a significant outlet for Irish pig meat exports.

With Chinese demand for pig meat outstripping domestic supply, global imports into China look set to increase by about 20 per cent to about 250,000 tonnes in the short term.