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Following on from yesterday’s announcement that Ireland has been chosen as a partner to establish the first national equine facility in China, today the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with his Chinese counterpart Mr. ZHI Shuping which will result in an Irish firm Connolly’s Redmills from Kilkenny being the first foreign horse feed manufacturer to gain market access to China.

Minister Coveney added, “This is a very significant achievement. I am especially pleased to learn that Connolly’s Red Mills are the first foreign company to gain access to the Chinese market for horse feed. This opportunity is a reward for the investment that the management of Connolly’s Red Mills have put into their production and marketing systems and the work of my officials in progressing this application process with the Chinese Authorities. The Memorandum of Understanding also reflects the recognition by the Chinese Authorities of the strong national controls on animal feed production that we have in place in Ireland to ensure that animal feed is safe”.

At the signing, the Minister stated that, “this was an important development for Irish animal feed exports and horse feed in particular as the Memorandum confirms that horse feed product exported by Connollys are in compliance with the official requirements of the Chinese Authorities. The signing of the Memorandum will assist in the further development of the export market for Irish horse feed products to China for the foreseeable future. It is also an important development for the Irish horse industry”.

The Minister noted that China’s rapid growth and expansion presents a tremendous opportunity for the Irish horse feed industry to export its product to China. The Minister congratulated officials from Connolly’s Red Mills, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and the Department of Foreign Affairs, whose collaborative efforts ensured a successful outcome to the discussions, leading to this Memorandum.