Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Major trade mission to promote Irish agri-food in the Gulf States

Camels in Dubai. Photo: Getty
Camels in Dubai. Photo: Getty
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

A delegation of over 30 Irish agri-food and agri-tech companies will embark on a week-long trade mission to the Gulf States.

The delegation lead by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, will depart tomorrow, with a number of high profile promotional events starting Sunday morning in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, before moving onto the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for events starting in Dubai on Tuesday morning.

 In advance of his departure Minister Creed commented that the Trade Mission is a fantastic opportunity to promote the Irish agri-food sector in key markets.

“Together Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are already taking over €200m of our food exports, which is an increase of over 50% in just the last three years. Irish exports to the GCC countries are already at €250 million and set to increase in the coming years.

“I am determined to be as active as I can in promoting Irish agri-food products in as many markets as possible. The Gulf States offers enormous potential for the Irish food and drink industry and can contribute to achieving the ambitious targets in the Food Wise 2025 strategy.

“Combining efforts at political, diplomatic, technical and commercial levels through trade missions such as this one is a valuable means of raising the profile of Ireland as a food producing nation and unlocking commercial opportunities for Irish food and agri tech companies.

This visit is part of an intensified programme of trade missions to be undertaken by Government in the coming weeks and months.

Continuing market diversification and intensification of efforts in markets where we already have a foothold are key elements to the Government’s long-term plan in responding to Brexit.

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“This programme is part of the 20 specific Brexit-related actions in Action Plan for Jobs 2017 and will feature in the upcoming Trade Strategy.”

 In addition to the participating companies, the Minister will be accompanied by senior delegates from Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, Sustainable Food Systems Ireland and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing.

The mission will include visits to Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, all major cities in the region, and will involve over 30 separate engagements, including meetings with key political influencers, regulatory bodies, and potential customers for Irish produce. There will also be an important equine focus in Dubai, with a meeting scheduled with Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 Speaking before leaving on the trade Mission Tara Mc Carthy CEO of Bord Bia said the trade mission provides Bord Bia and the Irish food exporters the opportunity to drive increased trade to the GCC region following a rise of 26pc in the past five years and realise our ambition to double exports to the region in the next five years from the current value of €250 million. 

“During our engagements with food buyers at trade events and at the Gulfood Trade Fair we will outline our strategy for the region which is rooted in insight combined with our investment in talent and our Origin Green sustainability programme,” she said.

Online Editors