It’s not often that a new innovation catches the imagination of potential buyers so much that they believe it should be mandatory on every tractor. But that’s exactly what happened when Irish company Dromone Engineering showcased its innovative electronic tractor hitch at the recent Agromek trade show in Denmark.
Equipped with a sensor that tells the tractor driver whether or not the hitch is open or closed, this vital safety feature is designed to prevent accidents and offers confidence to farmers without them having to dismount from the tractor regularly to check a trailer is securely attached.
Dromone Engineering was one of eight Irish companies that successfully exhibited at the Agromek trade show in Denmark in recent weeks. Agromek is Northern Europe’s largest agricultural trade fair and it is typically held every two years, but this year’s event was of particular importance as it was the first time it was hosted in four years due to the pandemic.
The Irish pavilion at Agromek showcased five Irish companies, Dromone Engineering, Mastek Agri Machinery & Innovation, Quality Tractor Parts, Cashels Engineering and Wakely Engineering. Three other Irish companies that also attended the event and exhibited jointly with Danish partners were EASYFIX, McHale and Major Equipment.
In his role as Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD attended Agromek as part of a three-day Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland trade mission to Denmark in November involving over 60 Irish and Danish companies. The aim of this trade visit was to further boost business collaboration between Ireland and Denmark, with Agromek proving to be an important element of this trade mission as the agricultural sector holds huge importance in both countries.
Agromek, which ran from November 29 to December 2, offered an important platform for Irish agritech innovators as it was attended by over 40,000 people, including farmers, dealers and buyers from across the Nordics – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway – as well as Central and Eastern Europe.
While the UK is typically the first port of call for agribusiness exports from Ireland, the Nordics is an increasingly important market for Irish companies in this sector, with the primary markets in this region being Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Not only do most people in these markets speak fluent English, but Ireland is well known in the region for its deep agricultural tradition and innovative agritech products and solutions.
From bale handling and slurry equipment, to innovative tractor parts and animal feed, Irish agri products are well regarded and sought after in the region. They are held in particular high regard for their robustness and durability, which is seen as a differentiator for Ireland in the market. Irish innovators are also seen as having a particular strength in introducing sustainability-related innovation and more efficient ways of carrying out farm work.
Enterprise Ireland supports companies entering the market by sharing local insights, helping to identify market opportunities and by introducing them to local dealers, distributors, and partners.
Having a partner on the ground typically helps to give traction to new Irish products in the market and to maintain a constant supply of stock and spare parts to farmers in the region.
Since Enterprise Ireland opened an office in Copenhagen in 2019, 20 Irish companies have set up new presences in Denmark. Exports to the region from companies supported by Enterprise Ireland reached a record high of €1.24bn in 2021, up 31pc on 2020.
As many as 560 Irish companies that Enterprise Ireland support are exporting to the Nordic region.
These represent innovators not only from agribusiness, but also from many other sectors including high-tech construction, technology, medtech and pharma.
There are substantial opportunities for Irish companies in the Nordics, and we encourage companies interested in selling into one or more Nordic countries to get in touch with our office in Stockholm or Copenhagen to avail of our local team’s extensive market knowledge.
Darragh O’Carroll is market adviser, Nordics at Enterprise Ireland