‘Irish produce resonates with British consumers’

UK businesses recognise that Irish food produce resonates with British consumers, according to a Bord Bia official who spoke today (Friday, January 11) at the organisation’s Meat Marketing Seminar 2019.

The seminar, held in the Killashee Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare, heard from Shane Hamill, Bord Bia’s oversees trade manager, who said that UK importers recognise the need for their country to continue bringing in food produce after Brexit, and suggesting that they see Ireland as “the first stop” for this trade.

“When we talk to our UK customers, it’s quite clear that they understand that. They recognise straight away that they will need to continue importing food. They’re only 65% self sufficient. That won’t change in 77 days time,” said Hamill.

They recognise that Irish products resonate with their consumers, because of all the brand attributes that you’ve developed over the years.

“They also acknowledge the preparedness of the Irish food and drink-supply base,” he added, addressing a crowd of producers, processors and exporters.

According to Hamill, Bord Bia will continue to form partnerships with UK customers in a range of areas.

He also urged the importance of ignoring the political “noise” of Brexit, and using a data-led approach.

Bord Bia’s series of Brexit workshops and training programmes, which were run throughout last year, will be stepped up in 2019.

Hamill said the purpose of this initiative is to “educate exporters” in the areas of customs, supply-chain logistics and foreign exchange management.

You hear in the news lots of talk about import substitution in the UK, increasing UK food production, increasing UK exports. Actually, politicians don’t do these things. Businesses do.

“We want to reaffirm or commitment to that market; and to defend and grow our market share there post Brexit,” added Hamill.