Bord Bia has partnered with a leading premium retailer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Spinneys – for a sustainability-themed promotion, to highlight Irish brands and their participation in Origin Green, Ireland’s national food and drink sustainability programme.
The three-week promotion was formally launched yesterday, Monday 14 February, on day two of the Irish government’s trade mission to the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, led by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine – via the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) – Charlie McConalogue.
The group noted that this is the first in-person trade mission led by Bord Bia and the DAFM in two years, building on a previous ministerial-led trade mission to the region in 2017.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Bord Bia’s new regional director for the Middle East, commented, “We know that innovative and mutually beneficial partnerships are necessary to deliver on the region’s strong economic ambitions.
“Bord Bia has built strong relationships with key customers in the region, and this partnership with Spinneys illustrates how Irish exporters are well positioned to deliver on the needs of retailers and foodservice suppliers in the region,” Fitzgerald said.
Bord Bia highlighted that it recently completed a future-proofing toolkit, to further understand the preferences and behaviours of consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as they emerged from the pandemic.
Speaking at the launch of the Sustainable Ireland promotion, Ailish Forde, global business development director, Bord Bia, explained how the growing demand for sustainable sources of ingredients presents an opportunity for Irish exporters.
“Bord Bia’s market insights show us that there is a growing interest in the UAE for healthy and organic foods to boost immunity, along with safely packaged food – a direct response to food security concerns from consumers who are now more inclined to purchase from a well-known brand where the origin can be traced,” Forde said.
“The growing demand here for sustainable sources of ingredients from Europe presents excellent opportunities for Ireland, and to showcase Origin Green internationally.”
Forde noted that Spinneys is a valued customer of Irish food and drink, with a reputation as a leader in adopting sustainable practices.
About Spinneys Group
The Spinneys Group has a 9-10% market share of supermarkets, being the preferred choice of supermarket for Western consumers. In conjunction with its 51 Spinneys stores, it also operates the Waitrose licence in the UAE.
In recent years, Spinneys has taken several steps towards becoming a more sustainable business, by focusing on reducing food waste, launching a solar power programme, working with local farmers, and sourcing sustainably produced imported produce.
Sophie Corcut, brand and sustainability manager at Spinneys, said that the retailer’s partnership with Ireland is ideally positioned to meet its customers’ desire for more sustainable shopping choices.
“Spinneys promotes healthier eating, less waste, and sustainable production practices, all of which are aligned with what Ireland is doing in its approach to agri-food production, making Ireland a natural partner for us,” Corcut said.
“Our customers are also placing more value on sustainably produced and traceable produce, which Ireland is a leader at providing, from farm to fork, through Origin Green.”
Spinneys stocks an extensive range of well-known Irish food and drink brands, and all Irish produce available in Spinneys is sourced from producers who are members of Origin Green.
The promotion will run across ten Spinneys and five Waitrose stores in the UAE until 6 March.