The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine and Bord Bia are closing out 2019 with strategic Ministerial trade visits to three of Ireland’s top food and drinks export markets.
The trade visits to The Netherlands, Germany and the UK cover markets that account for almost half of Irish food and drinks exports: a value of more than €6 billion collectively.
Speaking from The Netherlands on Wednesday, Minister Michael Creed said: "C-suite leaders in major global retailers in each of the markets we’ve visited are already aware of Ireland’s world-class agrifood credentials."
"These meetings are about developing key routes to shelf in strategically critical EU markets for Irish food and drinks suppliers particularly in the context of Brexit."
The Ministerial Trade Visits will include the following meetings:
In the Netherlands, which is the 3rd largest export market for Irish food and drinks companies globally, the delegation is meeting with Olaf de Boer the Executive Director of buying and merchandising at Jumbo Supermarkten.
Jumbo has 650 stores globally and employs around 80,000 people.
In Germany, which is the 5th largest market globally for Irish food and drinks exports, the delegation secured a first time meeting with Metro Group which is the 4th largest retailer globally with a turnover of €13.5 billion, 800 stores in 25 countries and 150,000 employees.
During the meeting with Metro Group COO and the Global Head of Purchasing, Minister Creed and Ms. McCarthy discussed how Ireland could become a global partner for Metro Group supplying stores worldwide, not just in Germany.
In the UK, the delegation will meet C-suite representatives from two of the ‘big four’ retailers: Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Together these grocery giants account for more than €80 billion in annual sales.
The UK is Ireland’s largest market for food and drink exports and these meetings are designed to ensure routes to market remain open and healthy in the context of continued Brexit uncertainty.
FoodWise 2025 Strategy
These Ministerial Trade visits form part of the delivery programme for the Governments FoodWise 2025 strategy and are a core element of the Irish food and drink industry’s two-pronged strategic response to Brexit: firstly, market diversification to ensure all opportunities for growth in EU markets outside the UK are leveraged, and, secondly, doubling down on growth in the UK market following Brexit.
“The meetings I have had so far have, without exception, been productive, promising and positive," Minister Creed added.
"They have confirmed in my mind the enormous potential that exists for Irish agrifood growth within key EU markets and within an ever evolving global marketplace.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.