Siobhán Talbot, Group Managing Director of Glanbia
Over 120 Indonesian and Malaysian food manufacturers, importers, retailers and foodservice operators will join Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture over the course of two days at Bord Bia seminars to generate new business opportunities for Irish dairy exporters in the region.
Bord Bia’s Origin Green Dairy Seminars, in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur respectively, are focused on building sustainable trade relationships and include detailed presentations from senior Irish and local officials on food safety controls, market trends and updates, and Origin Green, Ireland’s food and drink sustainability programme.
Each seminar will culminate with a schedule of targeted business meetings for Irish exporters in attendance with qualified high potential local buyers.
Addressing the delegation at the first seminar in Jakarta, Tara McCarthy, Chief Executive of Bord Bia, spoke about building upon existing trade relationships.
She said: “We are two countries on opposite sides of the world, different in many ways, but we share an understanding that security of supply is key to allowing us to plan ahead for growth and success.”
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD opened proceedings, while Paula Barry Walsh, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine explained food production and safety procedures in Ireland.
Senior representatives from the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture were also present along with Mr Stefanus Indrayana, Secretary General of the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association, GAPMII.
As is typical in Asia, government and industry are closely linked and engaging with senior representatives from the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture can deliver significant impact at trade level through awareness building, access and registration.
Minister Creed said: “Bord Bia’s dairy conference is an excellent opportunity to bring targeted retail buyers, suppliers and consumers together from both our countries together.
"Having our own Irish dairy companies participating in this mission allows us to showcase the best of Irish dairy to a wider audience. Irish dairy farming is among the best in the world.
"Our natural grass-based farming methods, our competitive and innovative dairy processing industry, together with our rigorous system of food safety controls, have allowed Ireland to develop a strong export-focused dairy sector."
Among attendees at the Origin Green Diary Seminars are a number of leading Irish dairy companies including Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia, Ornua and Arrabawn.
These dairy seminars are organised as part of a week-long Trade Mission to the region to allow the Irish dairy industry gain an in-depth market understanding and to secure new business opportunities.
Prior to the first seminar today in Indonesia, Bord Bia organised a series of briefings and cultural immersion visits for the 20 representatives from Ireland’s dairy industry to allow them experience first-hand manufacturing, retail and foodservice outlets.
The dairy seminars in both Indonesia and Malaysia are being delivered through a targeted trade marketing campaign which will reach 200 industry representatives.
And for the first time on a Trade Mission, Bord Bia also has arranged 150 business to business ‘speed networking’ meetings in Indonesia and Malaysia, that connect Irish companies to key importers and buyers.
To date, Ireland has been a limited supplier into these markets with combined dairy exports valued at under €50 million.
Ms McCarthy added: “The opportunity in these two markets is significant as Indonesian and Malaysian consumers increase the percentage of dairy-based food in their diet.
"We will work with industry as they develop new products to ensure they address local taste preferences and demand for functionality around protein and calcium.
"There is real potential to deliver a unique message for Ireland around our natural, sustainable dairy industry, which is already in line with their values."
Proximity and historic trade means that both Indonesia and Malaysia have traditionally looked to Oceania and India as sources for imported food.
As a result, awareness of Ireland as a dairy and meat producer is low. However, there is a growing demand for sustainable sources of ingredients from Europe, which presents opportunities for Ireland.