Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wyeth China today as the state agency, along with 12 Irish food companies pushed for an increased foothold in China at CIIE (Chinese Import and Export Expo) in Shanghai. It is anticipated that more memos of understanding will also be signed by a number of the companies participating at the event in the coming days. The value of the Wyeth agreement to the Irish dairy industry is estimated at €110m annually. Wyeth is a major strategic partner of Ireland in China which is Ireland`s second most important market for dairy exports, accounting for €666.4m in 2017.
The Memorandum of Understanding with Wyeth is a commitment by the company to source all of its dairy ingredients for its Illuma base brand exclusively from milk from Irish farms participating in Bord Bia's Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme under the Origin Green programme, Ireland's national food and drink sustainability programme, the only such programme operating on a national basis in the world.
Wyeth and Bord Bia also agree to share consumer and market insight on the Chinese market, undertake awareness raising around Ireland and its sustainably produced food offering and to work together on research and development. Speaking at the signing event Tara McCarthy said, “This agreement is very good news for the Irish dairy industry and a vote of confidence in the Irish food sector by one of its strategic partners, committed to working with us on sharing insights on Chinese consumers and building awareness of Ireland's premium food offering in the market"
Two weeks of market initiatives in the region
The agreement comes during an intensive market drive in China this week that will also see 17 Irish seafood companies participate in the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo from 7th – 9th November in Qingdao, China. This Expo is the largest seafood trade event in Asia, with in excess of 29,000 visitors expected to attend from over 100 countries.