With a population of 80m people, the recent lifting of sanctions will offer new trading opportunities particularly for Irish dairy processors. Last year, Ireland exported €3.6m to Iran.

While exports of dairy produce including infant formula were a feature in the past, this trade has suffered in recent years. Access for Irish beef was secured four years ago and the Department of Agriculture has been engaged in bilateral contact with Iranian authorities to open up the sheepmeat trade. Brazilian beef currently supplies the market at competitive prices leaving the real opportunity in the medium term for dairy ingredients.

Dairy processors Arrabawn, Dairygold, Glanbia, Kerry Group, Lakeland, LacPatrick and Ornua were present and felt there was significant opportunity in a market that imports 230,000T of dairy ingredients every year, including approximately 50,000t of butter. Full analysis next week.