More than 50 international food buyers were in Kildare this week as part of a week-long trade development event, which was the largest ever to take place in Ireland.
Almost 550 food buyers from 50 countries worldwide descended on Ireland for the event, and a large number of them came through Kildare during the visit.
Among them, Bord Bia is targeting €40 million worth of new business as a direct result of this year’s event.
Meat processors, Kildare Chilling Company, hosted 21 buyers from Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, South East Asia, Germany and North America. From there, they visited the ICBF Progeny Test Centre in Tully which holds information on all the animals in the national herd. In Nass, 24 Chinese dairy buyers visited the Kerry PLC Innovation Centre while Lily O’Brien’s in Newbridge hosted 13 grocery buyers from the Middle East.
These were just three of 28 different 3-day group itineraries organised and hosted by Bord Bia for Marketplace International this week. The sector-focused itineraries will allow buyers to see Irish farms, factories, retail stores and manufacturing facilities all around the country to showcase the very best of the Irish food and drink industry.
The buyers include representatives from Australia, Algeria, Bahrain, China, Indonesia, UAE, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. Interest from UK buyers has remained strong, with close to 50 in attendance. The registered buyers represent every sector of the industry including for dairy, beef, lamb, pigmeat, alcohol, seafood, prepared foods, grocery, bakery, confectionary & snacks and specialty foods.
On Thursday, all international visitors will reconvene in the RDS Dublin, for 5,000 pre-arranged one to one meetings with 185 Irish food companies.
Speaking in advance of the event, Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said, “Marketplace is an invaluable opportunity for Irish food and drink companies to meet with a large number of international buyers face to face. It is our prime platform for showing international buyers’ first-hand what makes our products world-class. Initiatives such as Marketplace have enabled the sustained growth of Irish food and drink exports for the past eight years, culminating in a record value of €12.6bn in 2017”.
A team of Bord Bia specialists, including its network of 13 international offices, have been preparing for Marketplace for over six months, including providing a comprehensive training programme for the 185 companies to ensure they were adequately prepared for this year’s showcase. Through a series of training workshops, Irish companies availed of advice on choosing export markets, logistics, and sales pitch techniques. Companies will then get to put these skills into action in pre-scheduled, ‘speed-dating’ style meetings with the buyers in the RDS.
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