Speakers including Greencore's Patrick Coveney, John Kennedy, President Western Europe, Diageo, and Kevin Lane, CEO, Irish Dairy Board addressed the first ever UK-Ireland Food Business Innovation Summit and Exhibition at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, earlier today.
Two keynote addresses were given by the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD and the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon. Owen Paterson, MP.
The summit was established to set the groundwork for greater collaboration between Ireland and the UK in order to boost competitiveness, and featured over 300 leading representatives from both UK and Ireland-based retail and FMCG businesses.
Speaking at the event, Minister Coveney highlighted that "A key theme of this event is innovation and it is something I am deeply interested in. We see the agri-food sector as a driver of sustainable growth in the economy. Long term demand for premium quality, safe food products is increasing.
"The ending of EU milk quotas provides an opportunity to realise the food industry’s potential in a way that up to now was only open to non-EU players. There is great scope for Ireland and the UK to work closely together, building on the linkages that currently exist, so as to exploit the opportunities and overcome the challenges.”
The summit was jointly organised by Teagasc and the Institute of Food Research (IFR), UK and supported by Food Innovation Gateways, British Irish Chamber of Commerce, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland.