Just weeks after the Irish dairy Board secured a deal to take Kerrygold milk into China, trade delegations from Wales and Scotland have visited the country to tap a “huge” opportunity to grow exports.
A group of seven fish and seafood suppliers from Scotland took part in the China Fisheries & Seafood Expo 2014 in Qingdao, Shandong Province last week, while 11 Welsh food companies have exhibited at the Food and Hotel China Exhibition in Shanghai from 12 to 14 November.
The activity was helping companies take advantage of growing consumer demand for quality products with strong provenance, said Susan Beattie, head of food and drink at Scottish Development International. Scottish exhibitors included the Scottish salmon Company, Denholm Seafoods and The Blue Sea Food Company.
Scottish seafood exports rose 23% from £448m in 2007 to £552m in 2013, said head of Seafood Scotland Graham Young, with seafood exports to China rising by 548% to £22.5m during the same period.
The Scottish trip came ahead of a visit to Shanghai by a Welsh delegation including dairy producer Trioni and the Good Carb Food Company, manufacturer of Lizi’s Granola.
Welsh food exports have grown to £308.8m over the past four quarters, up £29.8m (10.7%) on the previous four, and significantly higher than the UK average of 0.8%, according to figures from the Welsh government.
Trioni founder Laurence Harris said the fact the producer’s milk products were both European and organic was “hugely important, especially in light of recent milk powder scandals in China.”
Earlier this month, it was announced the IDB would be tapping the €18bn Chinese liquid milk market with the launch of Kerrygold.