In China, Haage Natural Mineral Water paved the way to cherishing Estonian food with the presence of Tarmo Tamm, Minister of Rural Affairs of Estonia

Representatives of ambitious and community-engaged Estonian companies, together with our Minister of Rural Affairs, in the Shake Shanghai establishment during the reception of the Minister.

During a week which was incredibly interesting, educative, and overall excellent, a poultry meat protocol was signed in China, in addition to several other cooperation memoranda. Furthermore, meetings were held with dairy industries respectively ranked second and fourth in China by size, and other, in the Estonian context, enormous retail and logistics enterprises.
The Estonian Minister of Rural Affairs was accompanied by a ten-member business delegation including Amoor OÜ, Haage Joogid OÜ, AS HKScan Estonia, OÜ Loodusvägi, Reyktal AS, Tanker Brewery OÜ, Tere AS / AS Farmi Piimatööstus, and Vaba Aed OÜ.
The united Estonian stand in the Chinese international Import Expo Exhibition was represented in the pavilion “Food & Agricultural Products”. In the stand, the following companies introduced their products: AS Balsnack International Holding, AS EBM Grupp, Heimtal Spirits OÜ, and Saku Õlletehase AS.
In Monday, the participants were engaged in the opening ceremony of the Chinese international Import Expo Exhibition. The exhibition is an initiative of Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, with the aim of supporting the liberalisation and globalisation of trade, and of opening China’s market to the world. The speakers included, for example, Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia.
Xenia Joost giving an interview to the CCTV state broadcaster, with the topic being the clean and plentiful nature of Estonia, and Haage Natural Mineral Water.
In Tuesday, Minister Tamm had a meeting with Wang Lingjun, Vice Minister of the General Administration of Customs of China, with whom he signed the poultry meat protocol – a framework document. In the same evening, Minister Tamm held an introductory reception in appreciation of Estonian food and cuisine in the Shake Shanghai establishment.

Estonian Ambassador Marten Kokk giving a speech during the reception of Tarmo Tamm, Minister of Rural Affairs, in Shake Shanghai.

The absolute best of Estonian cuisine was offered during the reception by top chefs – Angelica Udeküll, Chef of Restaurant Wicca, and Kristo Malm, Chef of Restaurant Leib. In order to win the hearts and minds of the guests, they introduced fish and beef in the menu, as well as aged garlic, curd snacks, and nettle jelly. The overwhelmingly brilliant dishes were accompanied by a gentle scent of juniper and background music by DJ Sander Mölder.

In Wednesday, the group travelled to Beijing, where Minister Tamm opened a targeted marketing seminar in the Estonian Embassy. In addition, a visit was made to the Netherlands and Chinese Milk Development Centre. The Minister also met professors of the China Agricultural University and their Head of Foreign Affairs in order to discuss opportunities for scientific cooperation.
According to Minister Tamm, China is open to other countries, and this point was emphasised at all times. China is expecting everyone to cooperate and bring their products to their domestic market. The protection of investments as well as intellectual property is at a high level in China, which is definitely a contributing factor.

The Minister of Rural Affairs examining Chinese products.

As for now, the work will be focused on specific contact persons. As is characteristic of Asia, and China in particular, it must be considered that lengthy negotiations and approval processes will follow, demanding both patience and a modicum of luck. Nevertheless, it is obvious that China could be and should be the most important target market for Estonian food products.

It was excellent to behold the strong support for the Estonian food production industry in speeches and other communication by the Ministry of Rural Affairs, Enterprise Estonia, the Estonian Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This support is incredibly essential for creating and maintaining business relationships in China, as we must all join our forces to tackle this challenge.

We had a multitude of meetings inside the delegation as well as direct B2B contacts with whom we will continue intensive work and adapt our products to fully meet the expectations of the Chinese market.