Indian grocer seeks Northern Ireland suppliers

Food companies are being given an opportunity by Invest Northern Ireland to do business with one of India’s leading food retail and wholesale operations.

Fourteen local companies are meeting David Moran, a senior representative from RK Foodland of Mumbai, to present their products during a visit to Northern Ireland on 22 and 23 July.

The visit is the latest in a series of ‘meet the buyer’ events organised by Invest NI’s Food Division to help local companies explore business opportunities in markets outside Northern Ireland.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI’s Food Director, commenting on the RK Foodland ‘meet the buyer’ event, said: “We are looking at a number of international markets that could offer significant new business opportunities for our companies.

“What makes India particularly attractive is the strength of its economy, the emergence of a 400 million-strong middle class that is looking increasingly at Western lifestyles and the nation’s very close links with the UK.

“RK Foodland is a very successful family business that services retailers and the hospitality business in many parts of the country, and also has a popular network of Foodland Fresh supermarkets around its headquarters in Mumbai.

“It’s clearly a very successful and ambitious company that is keen to grow and bring new products to the Indian food marketplace, which McKinsey reckons will be worth in excess of $350 billion dollars by next year. India is clearly a market that our companies should be looking at very closely and Foodland could provide a platform to develop this potentially very important market.

“This visit follows a recent first time buying visit to Northern Ireland by Elbar Worldwide, a leading food service organisation. During the two-day visit, the Elbar team saw products from 26 local food processors.

“As well as Indian consumers, there are opportunities to supply products to the many British, European, and US staff now working there for multinational investors. Several Northern Ireland companies also have operations throughout India. Some food companies in dairy processing have business in neighbouring markets such as Pakistan and Bangladesh.

“Companies interested in following up leads made with RK Foodland will also be able to access advice and support from the Invest NI office in Mumbai and join planned trade missions to the market later this year and early next,” he added.

Invest NI’s team in Mumbai has been in discussions with RK Foodland management about quality products that could be supplied by Northern Ireland companies.