The ministry of agriculture, forestry and fisheries of Japan has announced that the country plans to import 13,000t of butter and 13,000t of SMP in the next fiscal year, according to Reuters.
The move is aimed at securing supplies of dairy products as the domestic supply of raw milk is declining as many of Japan’s dairy farmers are ageing while Japan’s younger generation is not prepared to remain in rural areas.
Although New Zealand has the geographical advantage for this new market, Ireland has business contacts in that country from our meat exporters.
Meanwhile, the EU is in advanced talks with Japan, the largest economy in Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the US. US president Donald Trump has just torn up the TPP free-trade agreement and our editor Justin McCarthy writes that the fact that it has fallen through creates an opportunity for the EU on agriculture – one of the sticking points.
Absence of a free trade agreement between the US and Japan – the biggest customer for American beef – surely creates an opportunity for EU negotiators to get a bigger slice of agricultural produce into the Japanese market in any agreement.