Bord Bia set out its new market prioritisation initiative at the ANUGA food fair in Cologne where CEO Tara McCarthy said they were intensifying activity in target markets to deliver the best returns for the agri-food industry.

She added that the increased budget allocation of €6.7m from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine would help them do more, and faster, to deal with the challenges of Brexit:

“We need to target our meat, dairy, horticulture and other food exports at the markets that deliver the best prospects of high returns, especially now that our biggest customer, the UK, has opted to leave the EU.

“We are now identifying the top 30 markets by sector that best fit our exports and meet our selection criteria on population profile, disposable income and appetite for quality sustainably produced food.

“From this list, we will choose the top five in which to commence intensive marketing drives, including trade events, trade missions, feet on the street and promotions emphasising Ireland’s reputation as a supplier of sustainably produced food under the Origin Green programme.”

Bord Bia will work with the exporters to these markets to identify the best product matches, the best logistical routes, the best distribution channels and the best customers to maximise their returns. The initiative will be backed up by data and consumer and market insight from Bord Bia’s Thinking House.

According to Tara McCarthy, against this background, Origin Green has never been more important than today and its appeal to food buyers continues to be key to our success in attracting business from new and existing markets.

Irish companies at ANUGA

A record number of 34 Irish companies (27 in the Origin Green pavilions) from across the food and drink industry attended ANUGA this year, with an Irish presence in the meat, dairy chilled and fresh, frozen and bakery halls, 70% higher than the last visit here in 2015.

Bord Bia’s global office network has specifically targeted 2,600 buyers from their regions who are attending ANUGA to ensure that Irish exporters are aware of their presence and maximise engagement with them during the event.

Turkish market shows major potential for Irish exports

Bord Bia recently undertook a promotional visit to Turkey for Irish livestock, in conjunction with the IFA. The Irish delegates held discussions with senior officials from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MFAL) and the ESK (Turkish Meat and Milk Board), while also meeting with private buyers and feedlot owners.

Ireland began exporting live cattle to Turkey in autumn 2016. Almost 20,000 young bulls were shipped there before year-end under a contract with ESK, the state agency which issues tenders to companies seeking to supply livestock, meat or dairy products into the market.

To date this year, a further 20,000 Irish cattle have been exported to Turkey and additional consignments are currently being assembled by the exporters involved.

Import demand for live cattle has been growing during recent years, with over 500,000 head imported during 2016.

The Turkish buyers were very complimentary of the high-quality healthy animals being imported from Ireland.

The Turkish government has recently introduced an annual payment of 750 Lira (€175) per beef cow and calf to encourage its livestock sector to become more self-sufficient.

This development has led to strong demand in Turkey for beef breeding heifers.

Interestingly, Turkey is also a key market for exports of Irish beef genetics and looks set to import 400,000 doses of artificial insemination (AI) from Irish suppliers this year.

Taoiseach and Bord Bia welcome €10.3m EU lamb promotion in Paris

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD joined Bord Bia and its French and UK partners during his visit to Paris earlier this week to welcome the announcement of EU Commission support for a new three-year EU lamb promotion campaign valued at €10.3m (2018-2020).

Bord Bia, Intervbev (France) and the AHDB (UK) submitted the joint application for the campaign which will promote the versatility, convenience and great taste of European lamb to consumers within the 25- to 35-year group across Ireland, France, Germany and the UK.

This new generic lamb campaign will build upon the work of the EU co-funded promotion ‘Lamb – Tasty, Easy, Fun’, which was a joint initiative between the three agencies over the period 2015-2017.

Given the target audience of young consumers, the campaign will focus on a broad range of activities to include digital and social media, outdoor advertising, consumer events, business-to-business workshops and key opinion leaders and experts to deliver its message.

The total campaign spend of €10.3m includes 80% co-funding support from the EU, equivalent to €8.3m. The remaining balance of €2m will be covered by the three promotional agencies, of which Bord Bia will contribute up to €300,000 over the lifetime of the campaign.

Declan Fennell, sheepmeat sector manager at Bord Bia, outlined the targets of the campaign: “As major European sheepmeat-producing countries, we have a shared interest in working together to tackle the decline in sheepmeat consumption.

“Over the lifetime of the campaign, we aim to increase the intention to purchase lamb among consumers aged 25 to 35 by 10%, increase their appreciation of the role sheep farming plays in the preservation and upkeep of the land and improvement by 15% the perceptions of European lamb as a modern product, suitable for today’s lifestyles.”