Cork firm ships 80 tonnes of seafood to China in search on new export contracts
Glenmar Shellfish strikes trial deal with five Chinese buyers on trade mission to Ireland
The Chinese delegation visited trawlers at Union Hall pier and nearby Union Hall Smoked Fish factory as part of their tour of west Cork.
Ireland’s seafood sector is poised for major expansion in the Chinese market following a trial deal struck yesterday in Cork.
Glenmar Shellfish Ltd will ship 80 tonnes of Irish produce to five new Chinese buyers, which this week visited west Cork as part of a Bord Bia trade mission.
It’s hoped the trial will result in lucrative new contracts for sales of Irish seafood in China. Total exports of Irish seafood to China in 2012 were valued at almost €10 million.
“Each company has agreed to take a consignment, which is a great result. It shows what can be done when the public and private sectors work together to a shared target,” Glenmar sales manager Juan Blanes said.
Representatives from China’s seafood industry say the demand for “wild Atlantic produce” is key for Chinese consumers. Much of the domestic Chinese market is farmed fish.
“More and more Chinese people now recognise and like to eat Irish seafood. Because it’s all caught in the wild ocean and because the Irish companies and the Government have promoted the product very well, there’s a very big market for seafood consumption in China and more of that will be Irish in future,” visiting Chinese buyer Sashe Alexandra said.
Glenmar Shellfish currently exports 300 tonnes of live shellfish and a further 500 tonnes of frozen fish annually to the Chinese market – part of €20 million it exports each year. It’s hoped the company’s exports will surpass the 1,000 tonne milestone this year.
“We have invested a lot of time and money over the past 18 months in the Chinese market with a lot of success as we have seen over the last few days,” Glenmar operations manager Diarmuid O’Donovan said.
The Chinese delegation visited trawlers at Union Hall pier and nearby Union Hall Smoked Fish factory as part of their tour of west Cork. The group is among 46 new Chinese food buyers visiting Ireland this week, representing the seafood, dairy and meat sectors.
Irish food and drink exports to Asia increased by 18 per cent to reach €453 million last year: exports to China jumped 39 per cent to €262 million.
Some 280 international buyers from 25 countries will attend Bord Bia’s inaugural Global Sustainability Conference taking place in Dublin tomorrow (Thursday).
The conference includes speakers from the World Wildlife Fund, the World Bank, PepsiCo, McDonald’s, Mars, Kerry Foods, Tesco and Nestlé.