Bord Bia has announced that it is increasing its investment in the German food and beverage market.

This comes as Irish exporters continue to look outside the traditional UK market to build business.

Speaking at Anuga, Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, outlined the strategic importance of the market and its geography.

“Irish food and drink exports to Germany performed impressively in the first half of 2017 – with a year-on-year increase of 24% – driven by significant growth in dairy, sheepmeat, horticulture, seafood, prepared foods and beverages.

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.

The new Brexit initiative to drive beef sales will include strategy development planning for promotion activity from 2018 and beyond, including existing material developed for the German market.

Irish beef continues to perform in what is an important premium market, with beef exports rising to €142 million in 2016 – from €92 million, just four years ago.

McCarthy also highlighted the opportunities for private label partnerships in Germany: “We want to unlock opportunities by matching Irish suppliers to suitable retailer accounts and to enable growth for Irish food and drink companies and those German retailers.”

Some 45% of retail sales in the German market are through private label and it continues to grow.