Bord Bia – the Irish Food Board – is gearing up for next week’s Gulfood as CEO Jim O’Toole makes his first visit to Ireland’s national pavilion at the world’s largest food exhibition. Gulfood 2023 will mark the Irish food board’s Decade of Growth in the Middle East food industry following strategic investment and partnerships that has accelerated success for Bord Bia partner companies and Ireland.
From AED 749K in 2012 to AED 1.4BN in 2022, Irish exports to the region in the past ten years has climbed exponentially placing Irish food producers firmly on the map in the region. Jim O’Toole will be leading a delegation of over 13 leading world class suppliers of food and drink from Ireland who will be exhibiting on Ireland’s national pavilion.
The UAE and the wider Middle East region is key priority market for Ireland’s food producers, who export 90 percent of the food they produce to over 187 countries worldwide. The food sector forms the largest and most valuable part of the economy of Ireland and visitors at Gulfood will get to discover the essence of the Emerald Isle and its finest quality sourced ingredients.
Commenting ahead of Bord Bia’s participation at Gulfood, Jim O’Toole, CEO of Bord Bia said: “We are very pleased to be participating at Gulfood again this year. As part of the Irish food and drink industry’s goal to increase exports to the region to AED 1.6BN by 2025, our key objectives are to boost the commercial prospects of Irish dairy and consumer food exports in the region, especially in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, while enhancing the image of Ireland as a trusted supplier and trading partner that produces high-quality, sustainable food and beverages. We are extremely proud of the exhibiting partner companies who truly represent the Taste and Soul of Ireland and who have served this region for the last decade growing from strength to strength with agility and awareness of consumer needs.”
“Through Origin Green, Ireland’s national sustainability plan, we are perfectly positioned to cater to the growing demands of consumers whose changing dietary habits mean they are becoming more aware of the need to purchase sustainably produced food”, he added.
Kieran Fitzgerald, Regional Director, Middle East, of Bord Bia said: “It is our pleasure to present 13 Irish food and drink companies this week showcasing the range of high-quality produce from world-class Irish producers. The Gulfood trade show, held every year, is significant to Irish food trade as it allows us to engage with customers and distributors from around the world. The relationship between Irish producers and entities in the Middle East has grown and strengthened colossally over the last decade. Creating and maintaining relationships like these has been crucial to the growth of Irish food trade and to the diversification of our economy. Irish food and drink, already highly regarded in Europe, is now increasingly on the radar of consumers in the Middle East. Origin Green is a proof point in this market of our unique and holistic response to making Ireland’s food and drink a leader of sustainability. We are extremely proud that it has become a powerful tool of differentiation for discerning consumers in the Middle East who care where their food comes from. We are excited to see how we progress over the coming years as we unlock new opportunities in the region.”
Leading Irish companies will be showcasing their products at Sheikh Saeed Hall 3 Stand: S3-C33 Gulfood this year on the Ireland national pavilion hosted by Bord Bia. Buyers will have an extensive insight into quality Irish produce featuring meat, dairy and an array of beverages among other products.
Some of the most sustainably produced food in the world, Irish food and beverages are preferred around the world for their health and wellness benefits. Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme is the only one in the world which operates at a national level, allowing farmers and primary producers, processors, and retailers to work together and lead the way to create a better future for all involved.