Events such as St. Patrick’s Day can be an opportunity to build awareness and momentum for the Irish food industry in Asia, according to Bord Bia market specialist for Japan and South Korea Joe Moore.
Speaking to AgriLand in Seoul, South Korea, the specialist, who was officially unveiled in his role last week, discussed his immediate priorities and goals.
On his current priorities, Moore said Japan and Korea had been identified as priority markets by Bord Bia, with work ongoing to build strategy for different food sectors over the coming years.
“I will be looking to understand all those strategies and put them into practice in each market,” he said.
The market specialist noted that he will predominantly be based in ‘Ireland House’, Tokyo, home to the Irish Embassy to Japan, Bord Bia Japan, and Enterprise Ireland.
Regarding goals set for the coming year, Moore said: “The big priority for both Japan and Korea is beef and dairy – and obviously we want to see those numbers shoot up.”
He added: “It would be lovely to see Irish brands on the shelves so I’ll try to put as much time to that as possible – because I think it’s very important to raise the profile of Ireland in general in eastern markets.
Although the opinion of Ireland is very good, the awareness can be low. In terms of targets or goals, St. Patrick’s Day is a huge occasion in Asia – it’s an opportunity for us to raise awareness of Ireland.
Noting that an Irish seafood promotion has previously been run in Japanese supermarket chain Aeon, Moore added:
“I would love to see similar promotions across the sectors, across the board, to capitalise on that opportunity to build momentum for the Irish food industry in Japan and Korea.”
Commenting on how his previous experience of Japan and Japanese culture – including a stint as an interpreter and liaison for the Japan U19 Rugby Team – Moore said:
“I think having lived in Japan previously allowed me to become well used to Japanese culture, Japanese language and have a sense of the country as a whole.
“Although it’s possible to get on in Japan without that experience, it’s very much a benefit while trying to get set up and trying to open a new office for Bord Bia.
I also have a lot of experience in facilitating relationships; in a previous role I was organising a science research and exchange programme.
“And a lot of experience of organising events both in Ireland and Japan and I think that this will be a key part of the role – bringing people together to make connections; facilitating communication will be a key part of the role in Japan and Korea.”