Bord Bia launches digital services to promote e-commerce in agri-food

Bord Bia has launched a suite of digital services under its ‘Think Digital’ programme to promote e-commerce among the food, drink and horticulture sectors.

The services are aimed at driving growth in the wake of Covid-19 and Brexit, Bord Bia said.

The agri-food marketing authority cited a recent study which said that, since 2017, online shopping had grown by 75%, and is forecasted to grow by a further 55% by 2023.

Bord Bia noted that, of the 94% of the EU population that eats meat and/or seafood, 56% of them buy these produce online. However, around half of the people who don’t buy meat or seafood online said they would be open to doing so, suggesting “untapped potential”.

“Diversification into new markets has been a crucial component for growth across the food industry over the last decade. Today, the growth in online shopping and grocery e-commerce offers our sector another growing, and potentially very valuable, alternative route to market,” said Adam Baker, client capability manager at Bord Bia.

“In addition to elevating the digital capabilities of the sector, we will be focusing on how to support and prepare companies to successfully sell on some of the world’s leading online marketplaces… We are working directly with these [online retail] companies to develop ‘How To’ guidelines for the Irish food industry,” he explained.

The new services will be primarily provided through a series of virtual workshops, webinars and self-service digital marketing guidebooks. According to Bord Bia, companies can also apply for bespoke, one-to-one digital mentoring, digital project management and branding supports.