West Midlands food firms on Irish export mission

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade, United kingdom

Food manufacturers are being invited to join trade mission to the "ideal market" of Ireland
Food manufacturers are being invited to join trade mission to the "ideal market" of Ireland
Food and drink manufacturers in the West Midlands are being invited to join a trade mission to boost exports to the ‘ideal market’ of Ireland, organised by United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI).

The government agency is inviting firms to take part in its ‘Taste of Britain’ exhibition in Dublin between September 26–27.

Manufacturers will have an opportunity to display food and drink at the trade show and to visit food stores in the capital.

A series of seminars is also being organised to deliver expert advice on exploiting export opportunities within the Irish food and drink sector. Taking part will be legal specialists O’Rourke, Ulster Bank and accountants RSM Farrell Grant.

A visit is also planned to SHOP: Ireland’s retail, food, drink and hospitality show.

Stunningly good opportunity

Birmingham Chamber of Commerce (BCC) told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the initiative was a “stunningly good opportunity” ​to unlock the huge potential of the export market to Ireland.

Johnathan Webber, BCC director of international trade and development, said: “We have a great range of top-quality food here in Birmingham to offer. Also UKTI has a strong presence out of Ireland and has put together this initiative as a great way to promote business.”

“Ireland is one of the most important markets, it is a great place to work as they share our language and have a similar culture.”

A UKTI spokesperson described Ireland as the “ideal first-step market” ​for food and drink exports.

“We are offering UK companies the opportunity to export while doing business with cultural similarities, in the same language and close to this country,”​ he said.

“Delegates will have multiple networking opportunities and will be provided with information about the Irish market. They will have access to industry experts as well as hundreds of distributors, purchasing managers and buyers.”

Largest export market

Ireland remains the UK’s largest export market for food and drink products. Last year, UK exports to Ireland amounted to £3.1M.

The average Irish consumer spends more than £2,500 each year on British food and drink goods.

Popular purchases include speciality ambient preserves, snacks, health and wellbeing products, drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – plus confectionery and frozen food.

Doug Mahoney, regional director, UKTI West Midlands, said: “Despite the doom and gloom we so often hear around the Eurozone, healthy markets such as the Irish food and drink market still exist.

“I would urge any West Midlands food and drink company thinking of exporting to join us on this exciting trip.”

For more information about the visit, click here​.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland firm Food Service Solutions has revealed an export contract to the Eire worth £0.7M.

The Ballymena firm will deliver food production facilities to University College Hospital, Galway and St Ita’s Hospital, Portrane in County Dublin.

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