This week highlights a significant landmark for Bord Bia and Irish seafood exporters, as the will stage exhibitions for the first time at Japan International Seafood and Technology Expo, now in its 19th year in Tokyo.
Eight Irish companies are in attendance, all members of Origin Green.
New business opportunities have been identified to rise through extensive market insight and promotion activity in South East Asia.
Bord Bia’s efforts to emerge into international markets now accounts for 26% of exports.
In order to spring this success, Japan has imported €12.8 million and 8,600 tonnes of Irish seafood in the year to May 2017.
Looking at the figures, a 43% increase in value and a 27% increase in volume on the previous year has occurred.
Japan sits as our current fourth largest market, with growth potential for shrimp, Dublin Bay prawns and crab and clams.
In the past six years, Irish seafood exports have grown by a whopping 51% to €563.
China, Hong King, South Korea and Japan have played a key role in achieving this.
France, Spain, UK, Italy and Germany dominate main European markets and exports standing at 65% of total value.
Ciaran Gallagher, manager for the South and East Asian said:
“Bord Bia’s decision to exhibit for the first time at Japan Seafood is underpinned by our market and consumer insight and the assurance that Japan and South Korea can deliver high volume and value returns for Irish exporters of sustainably produced seafood. Our market insight results from Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia also point to strong potential for growth and Bord Bia’s teams in Singapore and Dublin will build on the relationships forged at this event to attract the most promising buyers to Marketplace next March where they will see for themselves our excellent production systems.
Japanese retailers are now highlighting to their customers their commitment to certified sustainable production systems, going beyond what is required by state authorities. This plays to the strengths of our Origin Green exporters and we will drive customer awareness around our unique offering in one-to-one contacts and through our new “sustainable seafood” logo, designed specifically for the Japanese market”
The largest Japanese retailer AEON added sustainability to its seafood sourcing policy three years ago.
Objectives to increase sales of ASC and MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) products from the current 3% to 10% by 2020 are currently on the cards.
Kasumi Co. Ltd, one of the largest retailers in Japan, has introduced ASC and MSC seafood products in response to its high environmentally conscious consumers.
Many Irish seafood exporters including Ward Fish are drawing on their Origin Green credentials to meet the ASC and MSC standards.
“We were delighted to work with Bord Bia along with other producers earlier this year to promote our quality MSC Certified Irish Herring and Mackerel products to Japanese customers in a promotion with AEON across 100 stores over 3 days. The lessons we learned implementing our Origin Green Charter commitments have stood to us in our relationships with our Japanese customers.”
In early November, Bord Bia and seafood exporters will now venture to Chinese and Hong Kong markets at the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo.