Bord Bia plans on attending 24 trade shows across the US, Europe, Japan, China and other countries in southeast Asia this year.

A trade mission to the US led by Minister of State Martin Heydon will commence on 24 March, with another trade mission planned for China later this year.

Attendance at trade shows will be driven by emerging and growing markets, with a focus on the meat, dairy and drink sectors.

An October trade mission to France will also coincide with the SIAL trade show – one of the largest for food and drink.

Building awareness

In addition to hosting seven Irish firms at the world’s largest organics trade fair last month - Biofach in Germany - Bord Bia will exhibit at the Nordic Organic Trade Show in Stockholm in a bid to build awareness of pasture-raised organic beef and lamb.

The agency’s CEO Jim O’Toole stated that trade shows are “strategically important” for Irish agri-food exporters and allow for greater export diversification.

“Irish food and drink exports are worth €16.3bn to the Irish economy, so structured engagements like trade shows and trade missions offer a real opportunity to communicate the premium quality of Ireland’s food and drink to both existing and potential customers overseas,” O’Toole said.

“The impact of meeting face to face with international customers is incredibly important for driving business and leads to benefits all along the supply chain, particularly for farmers as our primary producers.

“Bord Bia’s teams and network of 14 overseas offices are instrumental in executing business conversion from leads generated at these trade shows, creating significant return for the Irish economy.”

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