Forty representatives from meat and dairy companies joined Bord Bia on the five day visit to showcase our industry, learn more about doing business in the region as well as examining consumer trends and how local retail and foodservice sectors operate.

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy, confirmed the industry’s commitment to the region at the conclusion of the trade mission remarking that:

“Bord Bia will escalate our investment in market and trade insight for the South East Asia region as well as market resources to capitalise on the clear opportunities identified for Irish food under our Market Prioritisation exercise and during this trade mission”.

This region has been identified as high potential under Bord Bia’s ongoing market prioritisation project showing the capacity to absorb increasing volumes of Irish food exports in the coming years. Consumers in these markets demand the highest food safety standards and are willing to pay a premium for products and brands that satisfy these demands.

Ireland currently exports €100 million worth of food and drink exports to these markets, and Bord Bia foresees scope to grow this to €250 million by 2025.

Bord Bia and the Department organised an extensive itinerary across the two markets, which included 15 meat and dairy focused events and engaged over 400 local buyers.

A Meat Industry Roundtable enabled Ireland’s leading meat exporters to meet with the Japanese Meat Traders Association, which represents 80% of Japan’s meat importing companies, while 60 Japanese chefs attended Bord Bia’s EU beef and lamb promotional event.

Dairy forums in both countries welcomed influential dairy buyers and importers. Discussions focused on sustainable trade relationships, food safety controls, free trade agreements, market developments and trends.

Lean programme to support Irish pig producers

Bord Bia recently secured funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to support Irish pig producers by applying ‘‘lean’’ principles, in order to further enhance efficiency levels and thereby lessen the impact of market volatility.


Thirty Irish pig farms have been selected to participate in the ‘‘Lean Programme for Pigmeat Producers’’, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc. The scale of this programme is significant with an investment of €350,000.


Programme manager Peter Duggan of Bord Bia stated that the wider pigmeat sector will benefit from this initiative, with likely efficiencies to be gained at farm level, as well as potential for more effective feedback from the processing industry regarding health and uniformity.

The programme will run from this December until the end of March 2018.

Irish beef on the menu at Butcher’s Heaven event

The name of the event ‘‘Butcher’s Heaven’’, with its tagline ‘‘a paradise for carnivores’’ says it all. What better place for Bord Bia to promote Quality Assured Irish beef than at this weekend-long event in Amsterdam.

Gertjan Kiers, charismatic celebrity butcher and avid fan of Irish beef, demonstrated the butchering of Irish hindquarters and forequarters to an enthusiastic crowd of both amateur meat-lovers and professional butchers on the Saturday and Sunday. Friday night was burger night, where Irish beef sliders proved a favourite with the crowds attending the event. During workshops on how to barbecue an Irish ribeye, participants got to prepare their own steak – getting a full understanding of what makes Irish beef so good.

The second edition of this event, the brainchild of Dutch celebrity chef Julius Jaspers, was held in a huge and atmospheric former fruit and vegetable hall. Over 20 Amsterdam restaurants sold their specially developed meat bites, to a soundtrack of a live jazz band. The focal point, forming the backdrop to the stage, was a striking 5m x 3m image of Irish farmer Eamon Bourke, one of the farmers who features in the Dutch consumer campaign for Irish Beef under the headline Honest by Nature. The campaign, now in its fifth year, raises awareness of Ireland’s outdoor grass grazed suckler beef production system, which resonates particularly well with the growing Dutch interest in ethically and sustainably produced food. The Netherlands is Ireland’s third largest export market for beef and grew by 18% in 2016 to reach a total of 49,000 tonnes.

Origin Green photo competition: #ItStartsHere

Congratulations to Harold Kingston from Courtmacsharry, Co Cork, who was the winner of Bord Bia’s Origin Green competition for October with the below photo, “Cows were still hard at work tonight”.

This competition is being run in conjunction with Macra na Feirme, to help raise awareness of the natural beauty and sustainable practices on Irish farms. The winning entry each month is receiving a €200 gift voucher, and an overall winner will be selected at the end of 2017 for a €1,000 prize.

Competition entries can be made instantly on Twitter using the tag and hashtags: @MacraNaFeirme #OriginGreen #ItStartsHere Alternatively photos can be emailed to, with the subject line ‘‘Photo competition, Origin Green It Starts Here’’. Rules of the competition can be found on: