DUBLIN, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Ireland will further intensify market access efforts for its food and drink exporters, according to a cabinet minister on Monday.
At a seminar on Brexit's impact, Irish Agriculture Minister Michael Creed outlined a seven-point plan to increase international market access for Irish food and drink exports.
The plan will be implemented by the Department of Agriculture with significant input from Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) and Irish embassies around the world, to help increase the footprint of Irish food and drink exports.
"The potential effects of a UK withdrawal from the EU mean that we must intensify our efforts further and diversify to as many international markets as we can. This is a government priority in response to the particular threat which Brexit poses to our agri-food sector," Creed said at the seminar sponsored by the Irish Farmers Association.
Under the plan, the Department of Agriculture will commission Bord Bia to undertake market profiling exercise for potential third-country and EU markets for Irish exports.
An intensified program of trade missions will be launched for the remainder of 2017 to promote Irish food and drink on EU and third country markets, and the trade missions will focus on emerging markets in Asia, North America and Africa, according to the plan.
In 2016, Irish agri-food and drink exports increased by an estimated 2 percent to approximately 11.15 billion euros.
Britain was the main destination for Irish agri-food and drink exports in 2016, accounting for 47 percent of all exports. 32 percent of exports went to continental EU markets while the remaining 31 percent went to international markets.