Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will lead a major Irish agri-food trade mission to the Gulf region from this Sunday.

It is the first physical trade mission in the post COVID-19 era.

“The Gulf region is a strategically important market for our food exports and Bord Bia has done tremendous work in developing the region.

Value growth

"This trade mission reflects the ambition in the Food Vision 2030 strategy to further develop valuable market opportunities for our quality, safe and sustainable food produce. I believe that the Gulf region offers significant value growth potential for Irish food exports.

"I'm excited to meet buyers in the region and tell them of the world class food producers by our exceptional farm families, as well as our innovative processors and marketeers,” the Minister said.

He said the region “is the food crossroads of the world” and that he and Bord Bia will take every opportunity to tell the great story of Irish food.

Dubai and Saudi Arabia

The schedule will encompass Gulfood 2022 in Dubai, one of the world’s largest food fairs and a two-day trade mission to Saudi Arabia.

It will conclude with the Minister’s participation in the food, agriculture and livelihoods week at EXPO 2020 in Dubai, where Ireland is one of 85 countries with a national pavilion.

The mission will include Government meetings in Dubai and Riyadh; engagements facilitated by Bord Bia with Irish food companies and their trade customers; and encompass meetings and events across the dairy, meat, prepared foods and the horseracing sectors.

As well as the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Sustainable Food Systems Ireland will participate in the trade mission, which has been organised in close co-operation with the embassies of Ireland in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

“In recognition of the importance of the Gulf region, my Department has appointed an agricultural attaché to the embassy of Ireland to the United Arab Emirates.

"I hope that this mission will serve to build on and promote Ireland’s global reputation in agri food, which is built on foundation of Irish family farms, producing quality and sustainable produce,” he said.

The Irish Farmers Journal is attending the trade mission - stay tuned to for updates.