Irish Food Board launches business strategy for South East Asia to raise exports to €800 million by 2025 as part of Irish government trade mission to Vietnam

  • Minister Martin Heydon’s first trade mission to Vietnam features the launch of Bord Bia’s (the Irish Food Board) three-year business strategy for South East Asia which aims to raise Irish food and drink exports to the region to €800 million by 2025
  • The trade mission includes high-level trade and government engagements in Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam, including the launch of an EU Dairy campaign in Hanoi 
  • Minister Heydon and Bord Bia CEO Michael Murphy will participate in Bord Bia-organised client seminars focusing on sustainable food systems and food safety.

Launching Bord Bia’s (the Irish Food Board) new three-year business strategy for the South East Asian market, Ireland’s Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon T.D., will visit Vietnam this week with Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), to engage in a series of trade engagements aimed at raising awareness of Ireland as a source of sustainable, safe and high-quality European food and drink. Bord Bia’s new three-year strategy outlines a target of €800 million in Irish food and drinks exports to South East Asia by 2025, led by the Irish dairy and meat sectors.

Signifying the importance placed on the region, Minister Heydon is accompanied by Michael Murphy, Bord Bia CEO, to represent the Irish dairy, meat, seafood, and alcohol industry as part of a trade mission that also includes visits to Japan and Singapore. Ireland is a member of the European Union (EU) and this trade visit also includes the launch of an EU dairy campaign which Ireland is leading on behalf of the EU’s 27 member states.

Ireland exports agri-food to over 180 countries worldwide, reaching €13.5 billion in 2021. Ireland’s industry-led strategy for the growth of the agri-food sector, Food Vision 2030, provides an ambitious and clear roadmap for the sustainable future development of the sector, including a target and its aim is to increase this value to €21 billion by 2030. 

In its Prioritising Markets – Opportunities for Growth study (2017), Bord Bia identified Vietnam and the wider South East Asia region as a priority destination for Irish food and drink exports, with high potential for dairy exports in particular. In 2021, exports to the region were valued at €535 million, a 25% increase in 2020. These export figures are led by dairy and dairy ingredients (€314 million) beef (€76 million) and pigmeat (€76 million). The region also remains a valuable and increasingly important market destination for Irish seafood and drinks. 

This ambitious new regional strategy will directly contribute to the global Bord Bia strategy which sets out the objective to help grow the value of Irish dairy exports by 10.5% or €508 million to a value of €5.6 billion by 2025 through investment in the market development in markets including Vietnam and the wider South East Asia region. The strategy is falling in line with the European Union (EU) and Vietnamese Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which will see tariffs on European dairy fully removed on January 1st, 2023, after which Europe’s market share would be expected to rise.

As part of the trade mission, Minister Heydon will be meeting with government representatives from Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to discuss market access issues and will also attend Bord Bia trade receptions with customers of Irish dairy, pigmeat, and seafood in Hanoi. 

Leading the first in-person trade mission by Bord Bia to Vietnam since the start of the pandemic, Ireland’s Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon T.D. said, South East Asia represents an important and rapidly growing market for Ireland that values the quality of Irish food and drink products. In this trade mission, our goal is to explore developing closer links with key Vietnamese partners alongside promoting the reputation of Ireland as a source of high quality sustainably produced meat, dairy, and seafood products. There is enormous potential for Irish food and drink in Vietnam, and Bord Bia’s new strategy will provide a roadmap for Ireland’s ambitions to substantially increase Irish exports in this region.” 

In November 2021, Bord Bia was selected by the European Union (EU) to deliver two 3-year dairy promotional campaigns that will cover the Vietnamese and wider South East Asian market. The campaign, EU Dairy, the Sustainable Choice for Asia, will be launched to Vietnamese buyers and trade media in Hanoi during the trade mission.

Ciaran Gallagher, Regional Director, South East Asia, Bord Bia, said, “Irish food and drink exports to South East Asia last year grew to a record €535 million, demonstrating that even against the backdrop of the challenges posed by the pandemic alongside other macro factors such as logistical issues and higher dairy prices, more and more customers across South East Asia are enjoying world-class food and ingredients from Ireland. Bord Bia’s new three-year strategy will focus on raising the profile of Irish food and drink through awareness of it as a premium product sourced from family-run farms, and fully traceable from farm to fork. Creating a brand that symbolises Ireland’s heritage, quality, and trust or ‘green credentials’ is key. Our aim this week is to further enhance the awareness and reputation of Ireland as a source of sustainable, safe, and high-quality European food and drink among customers and consumers in Vietnam.”

He said that with the population of South East Asia predicted to expand by a further 100  million people by 2050, there will be a growing import demand, and one that “Ireland is ideally positioned to meet”. Ireland and Vietnam share an understanding that security of supply is key to allowing both countries to plan ahead for growth and success and, as such, we are committed to developing durable business relationships with our customers here,” he said. “This trade mission marks the start of an intensified programme of activity undertaken by Bord Bia to promote Irish food products and their producers to our Vietnamese customers who place a value on high quality and security of supply. Our ambition is to build further on the strong partnerships Ireland has with our customers in Vietnam and trade missions such as this are a valuable means of raising the profile of Ireland as a food-producing nation and unlocking commercial opportunities for Irish food and drink companies.

In addition to visiting Vietnam, Bord Bia will also be hosting an Ireland stand at Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) trade show in Singapore as part of the trade mission where 10 Irish companies are participating. The message from Ireland at FHA, the largest trade show of its kind in the region which will attract 80,000 visitors, is about building the reputation among trade customers of the high-quality food and drink produced on the island of Ireland. 

About Bord Bia

Bord Bia is the Irish government agency that manages the promotion, trade development, and marketing of the Irish food, drink, and horticulture industry.  Headquartered in Dublin, Bord Bia supports the national and international ambitions of Irish food, drink and horticulture businesses through its highly focused organisational structure and its network of offices in Asia, EMEA and the USA. Bord Bia’s Singapore office is headed by Ciaran Gallagher, appointed in 2016 as Director for South East Asia to support Irish exporters targeting the South East Asia region.