Bord Bia and a record 27 Irish food exporters travel to Paris this weekend with a view to developing new business opportunities and maintaining existing trading relationships at the biggest food fair in the world this year. The Irish team will join over 160,000 food buyers and 7,000 exhibitors for the biennial Salon International d’Alimentation (SIAL) which will run from Sunday, October 16 for 5 days. It will be attended by buyers and exhibitors from over 100 countries. This year marks Ireland’s 21st appearance at the event.
The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD will visit the exhibition on Monday, October 17 to support the Irish exporters and speaking in advance of his departure he highlighted the importance of market diversification in meeting the targets set out in the industry`s strategy FoodWise 2025. “Over recent years the Irish food and drink industry has successfully extended its market reach with the share of exports going to international markets growing from 21% to 28% over the last six years. Diversification has also been key to increasing these exports even in the face of trading challenges such as the closure of the Russian market to beef, pigmeat and dairy products.
“Today companies, especially those heavily dependent on the UK market are looking further afield and the record attendance of Irish exporters at this year’s SIAL, up one-third on 2014, is proof that they have identified the challenges around Brexit and are actively looking at other routes to market where necessary. Last week I announced an additional €2 million allocation for market development measures to assist Bord Bia in staying on track to meet our 2025 targets by supporting companies in holding their positions in existing markets and to identify new market opportunities.”
Speaking in advance of the exhibition Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter said: “Maintaining the status quo will not be sufficient to deliver the results necessary to increase our export value to €19 billion by 2025. Our key markets in the European Union and new and established international markets will have to deliver more than incremental growth.
“We took account of this in framing our strategy document ‘Making a World of Difference’ which is our new reference point for growing the value of our exports in what are now even challenging times. Our initiatives in the period ahead will be informed by consumer insight, enabled by valued people and infrastructure, underpinned by Origin Green, realised by effective routes to market and supported by strong brand communications.
“This year we have taken important steps in implementing our goals with the opening of our new Thinking House in Dublin and two new regional offices in Singapore and Warsaw. We will apply these principles in how we support companies affected by the recent volatility brought on by the UK referendum result on membership of the EU. Our presence at SIAL and other international trade events is part of our ‘routes to market’ pillar and will provide us with insight into new trends in food production and an opportunity to explain Ireland’s unique offering in supplying safe secure and sustainably produced food.”
The theme of this year’s SIAL is innovation and Bord Bia’s ground-breaking Origin Green Sustainability Programme along with four Irish companies nominated for innovation awards highlight Ireland as a country that places an emphasis on producing food better.
The Chairman of Bord Bia Michael Carey remarked on the achievement of the companies on the Origin Green – Ireland pavilion and also congratulated the Irish nominees for innovation awards:
“The commitment of Irish farmers to Origin Green and producing food in a more sustainable way is the foundation on which the success of the programme is built. All the companies at the ‘Origin Green - Ireland’ pavilion are verified members of the programme and the thousands of targeted food buyers visiting the Ireland pavilion can see how individual companies are making a difference in how food is produced by achieving the goals in their sustainability plans”.
Ireland`s reputation for developing new products is reflected at SIAL’s Innovation Zone where four Irish products are competing for innovation awards and one company HiRo by Roisin is a nominee for the Global Food Innovation Award formerly known as Sial d’Or. The four contenders for innovation awards are ‘Fruchee’ from Dairy Concepts, ‘Super Turkey Burgers’ from Greene Farm Foods, and ‘Gluten Free San Marco Pizza’ and ‘Bakehouse Pork Wellington’ from Green Isle Foods. The Innovation Zone is a major attraction at SIAL and food buyers and retailers will be keen to learn about these new products.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Donncha Mac Cóil