Food for thought: Bord Bia Warsaw hosts exporter meetings

Bord Bia brought together 25 Irish food exporters and Polish food buyers for a ‘Meet the Buyer’ trade event and ‘Flavours of Ireland’ trade dinner in Warsaw recently.

The Irish suppliers of beef, lamb, whiskey and craft beers had 70 individual meetings with Polish importers, distributors and retailers. Poland is Ireland’s eighth largest EU export market for food and drink, reaching an estimated €185 million in 2016, which represented an increase of 15% on the previous year.

Irish and Polish industry stakeholders shared experiences about the evolving Polish beef market at the meat forum, under the expert guidance of Jerzy Wierzbicki, president of the Polish Beef Association.

Irish beef is growing in the Polish market, doubling in value over the last five years to €9 million.

The day’s events concluded with the Ireland/Poland Chamber of Commerce ‘Flavours of Ireland’ trade dinner for 180 invited guests, including selected chefs from top Warsaw restaurants.

Recently Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, spoke about the importance of the German market. “There is a huge appreciation for Ireland, but when the ‘rubber hits the road’, it’s the quality that counts. This German marekt is prepared to pay for unrelenting quality.”

Of the German market, she said:”It is a premium market, our sixth largest, with an estimated value of €600 million last year.”

Germany is also a gateway to central and eastern Europe, and will play a pivotal role in our Brexit initiatives in that region, she said.