With the EU dairy quota regime coming to an end this Wednesday (1 April), Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia has told Checkout that Ireland is best-placed to compete with an added-value message when it comes to dairy, rather than focus on price.
“I'm not sure that competing in terms of price is it is necessarily where Ireland needs to be or wants to be,” Cotter told Checkout. “We need to be able to compete in terms of added-value, and our sustainability and development schemes are part of that; in terms of how to differentiate not just Ireland in Europe but Ireland in the world.”
Checkout met Cotter at Bord Bia’s Marketplace International event, which took place last Thursday at the Convention Centre Dublin. More than 500 buyers were in attendance at the event, with approximately 75% coming from outside the eurozone.
Cotter said that on the back of Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme, now two years old, Ireland is gradually being considered among the “best in the world” when it comes to traceability and sustainability.
“I think the kind of access for example that we have in China, is a real signal that we are reaching the most rigorous safety standards anywhere in the world,” he said.
“The success of the Irish dairy industry in China is an endorsement of the high standards we have, particularly in infant formula. When you are dealing with the most sensitive consumers in the world, it has to be absolutely right, and Ireland is absolutely right.”
Some 185 Irish food and drink firms were present at Marketplace International 2015.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones