21 Irish companies exhibiting at this week’s Gulfood trade show in Dubai

Some 21 Irish food companies are exhibiting on Bord Bia’s Origin Green stand at this week’s Gulfood event, one of the largest food trade shows in the world, being held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this week.

Companies at this year’s event include AgraKepak International, Ashbourne Meats, Dairygold, Butlers and Glanbia.

This year is the first time that the show will be segmented, with Bord Bia taking space in both the World Food Hall and the Dairy Hall – it’s largest presence to date.

While 21 Irish companies are exhibiting, up to 100 representatives from Irish food companies are expected to travel to Gulfood.

Director of International Markets with Bord Bia, Padraig Brennan, said that there was a lot of interest from Irish companies to exhibit at this year’s event and that plans are already underway for an Irish presence at next year’s show.

In the region of 100,000 buyers from across the Middle East and North Africa are expected to be in attendance. A record number of 95,000 visitors attended Gulfood in 2016 and numbers this year are expected to exceed that figure.

‘Sustainability’ has traction in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but the emphasis here is on energy usage and water.

Gulfood spans more than one million square feet of exhibition space, which has been allocated to 5,000 international exhibitors.

The Middle East, widely regarded as a ‘foodie region’ with an 80-90% import requirement, presents a significant and growing opportunity for Irish food exporters, according to Bord Bia Chief Executive Tara McCarthy.

Speaking in Dubai on the penultimate day of a major Irish agri-food Trade Mission to the Gulf States, McCarthy said there is a real, tangible demand for high-quality, grass-based, sustainably produced food, as it meets the needs of customers and consumers in the affluent markets of the Gulf region.

The Gulf region is set to become an increasingly important market for Irish food and drink exporters.

“The current market dynamics, including a population expected to exceed 50 million by 2020, will continue to play a significant role in the surge in demand for food and food imports, in particular across the dairy and meat categories.

“This trade mission provides Bord Bia and Irish food exporters with the opportunity to drive increased trade to the GCC region, following a rise of 26% over the past five years, and to realise our ambition to double exports to the region over the next five years – from the current value of €250m.

“During our engagements with food buyers at trade events and at the Gulfood trade fair, we will outline our strategy for the region which is rooted in insight combined with our investment in talent and our Origin Green sustainability programme.”

Irish company wins Gulfood Innovation Award 2017 for Best Halal Product

Earlier this week, Green Isle’s Goodfella’s pizza range won the 2017 Gulfood Innovation Award for Best Halal Product Range.

Liam Hyland, Head of Exports at Green Isle Foods, said the award is testament to Green Isle’s commitment to develop world-class products, which resonate strongly with the region’s retailers and consumers alike.

“We plan, together with our excellent distribution partners, to expand Green Isle’s market presence and develop the product range to continue to build on our recent successes.

“We are delighted with this prestigious award and we will continue to develop new products for the Middle East. At the show, we have just launched a new Goodfella’s thin and crispy Doner Kebab pizza.”

Green Isle’s Goodfella’s frozen pizza brand continues to build its market share in the Middle East, having recently launched in the Danube supermarket chain in Saudi Arabia.