Northern Ireland companies at Gulfood 2009 in Dubai

Five Northern Ireland companies are taking part in the Gulfood 2009 international food exhibition in Dubai, from 23-26 February, the biggest food event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.

They are being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to explore export opportunities and to keep abreast of global trends in food retailing and foodservice at this important food exhibition.

The companies are seeking to build on the trend towards healthy, natural products and the growing demand for food and drink which combine wholesomeness with value, particularly in terms of price.

Companies taking part for the first time such as Rooney Fish, Finlay Foods and Rich Sauces, are keen to arrange distribution channels to the Gulf and other neighbouring markets. Whites and Greenfields are seeking to support existing distributors and agree new ones in markets in which they are not currently represented. Both companies have business in the Gulf region.

The Northern Ireland ‘Good Food Naturally’ stand at Gulfood is organised by Invest NI’s Trade team in conjunction with the agency’s Food Division.

Invest NI provides a range of initiatives to attract international buyers to benefit from the region’s expertise in quality food processing. These include ‘meet the buyer’ events for international companies seeking food suppliers in Northern Ireland, as well as participation at global trade shows such as Gulfood, SIAL, ANUGA and IFE.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI Trade Director, commenting on the exhibition, said: “At Gulfood we are focusing on Northern Ireland’s longstanding tradition as a producer of natural products from the region’s position as one of Europe’s cleanest and greenest environments.

“Food is also now one of Northern Ireland’s biggest manufacturing industries. Over 60 per cent of food and drink is now sold to markets outside Northern Ireland.

“Many companies are now taking advantage of the extensive range of marketing initiatives that we have developed for the industry. They are also embracing Invest NI’s support and advice and developing innovative products for export markets.

“Dubai is now firmly established as an ideal platform for companies wishing to develop business in the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and Africa. Companies taking part in previous Gulfood exhibitions have won significant business throughout the Middle East and in major African markets such as Nigeria,” he added.

Northern Ireland companies at Gulfood in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 23-26 February 2009

Greenfields Ireland, Belfast,  is featuring dairy products including milk powder. The company secured business at last year’s event.

Rooney Fish, Kilkeel, is showing cooked langoustines produced by a radically new process that maintains omega and other healthy oils. The company is Ireland’s leading langoustine/prawn processing business.

Whites, Tandragee, which also secured business at last year’s show, is showing a new Toasted Oat snack product and its natural fruit porridge oat breakfast cereals.

Finlay Foods, Moira, is displaying a range of ingredients including Vermicelli/sugar strands / standard and natural sugar strands; dehydrated apple and fruit pie fillings; lemon pie fillings; coconut macaroon; custards; neutral, flavoured and vegetarian jelly crystals fresh ‘ready-to-use’ fruit pie fillings; fruit toppings; cheesecake toppings; fruit sauces; traditional mincemeat (sweet mince).   

Rich Sauces, Newtownards, has a top chef demonstrating the company’s range of mayonnaise, cooking sauces, dressings and bouillon aimed at chefs, restaurateurs and food manufacturers.