Gordon Lyons, Minister for the Economy, Northern Ireland, visits Gulfood 2022, leading a representation championing the world-class offer of the region’s food and beverage sector to the Middle East. This will be the 15th consecutive year that companies from Northern Ireland will be represented at the world’s largest food expo, with over 20 companies continuing to actively do business in the Middle East.
Commenting on the region’s successful sector in the event, Minister Lyons said: “Northern Ireland produces award-winning food and beverage, with the sector worth £5.4 billion to the economy. This success is down to our pure, lush countryside, and farmers and producers who are dedicated to traceability and passionate about quality. Our country delivers high-quality raw ingredients, state-of-the-art processing facilities, and has a world-class food security record too.”
Continuing, Mr Lyons said: “I am delighted to be here at Gulfood, to support and showcase our 13 companies and their products, as we continue to bring the incredible flavour of Northern Ireland to tastebuds across the Middle East.”
Companies attending the show are seeking to build on continued growth, with exports to the Middle East totalling over £70 million. This year, Northern Ireland brings a diverse range of products, including grass-fed dairy produce, infused rapeseed oils, health foods including super foods, gluten free bakery products, teas, coffees, award winning crisps and gluten-free fruit and vegetable snack products, in addition to a range of porridge oats and oat-based cereals.
Mel Chittock, Interim CEO, Invest Northern Ireland, said: “Gulfood remains a cornerstone event for us to participate in, with our companies committed to their export journeys to the Middle East. It is no surprise that events like these provide a fantastic platform for both new to market and growing exporters to connect with the right partners and build relationships which ultimately help them grow sales.”
Finnebrogue, a company new to market, recently secured listings with a leading supermarket chain Spinneys, supplying five lines to its stores across the UAE, including its new plant-based products. A number of companies are also working closely with regional retailers to provide private-label lines.
Northern Ireland’s expertise also features prominently within the UK’s Eat programming at Expo 2020 from 17 – 20 February, which will bring together experts from Agritech and food and beverage sectors to explore how we will be able to feed ourselves in the future, end hunger, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture to ensure solutions for generations to come.
”This is a great testimony to Northern Ireland as we are at the forefront of agricultural innovation, digital food technology, transparency in the food system, and helping to increase productivity around the world with cutting edge technology,” Mr. Chittock concluded.
Invest Northern Ireland’s stand is located in Sheikh Saeed Hall 1 Stand A26 at Gulfood at the World Trade Centre in Dubai from February 13 – 17.