Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy has said it will be meeting with a “game-changing number of buyers” as it launches a major virtual trade fair this week.

Dubbed the 'Prepared Consumer Foods Virtual Sourcing Fair', the event will run from Tuesday 13 April until Monday 19 April and will host over 500 virtual trade meetings with key export markets, including United Arab Emirates, US and Europe (France, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands and Germany).

They will involve 50 Irish companies meeting with up to 100 food buyers.

Focus on post-Brexit trade

Given the reliance of the Irish market on the UK, where 70% of Irish exports go, there will be a specific focus on trade post-Brexit as year-on-year figures show that exports to the UK have decreased by 19% (€28m).

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue opened the virtual fair and said that he welcomed buyers to the event.

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy commented that it had been a challenging year for the food industry, but pointed out that buyers were still keen to identify new suppliers.

“With 40 years exporting experience to retail, food service and manufacturing customers in more than 119 countries, this sector is highly responsive to consumer and market trends and creating insight-led innovation.

"The Bord Bia Prepared Consumer Foods virtual trade fair will bring this to the fore as we engage with a game-changing number of buyers from Europe, the US and the United Arab Emirates to help support and future proof this sector,” she said.