Invest Northern Ireland is backing a sales drive by Northern Ireland food and drink companies at the Anuga show in Germany, the biggest event this year for the global food and drink industry.
Invest NI is sharing a major stand for red meat companies with the Livestock and Meat Commission, organising a trade development visit for around 13 local companies, hosting receptions for companies and buyers at the event and assisting individual stands for a number of companies.
More than 20 Northern Ireland companies will be at the show on stands or visiting with the trade development group.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, said: “Anuga is a unique event for the food and drink industry. No other food show draws together no less than 10 trade fairsunder one roof. Our companies can benefit from this strongly sectoral approach and the tremendous platform that is provided to reach the right buyers.
“This presents a marvellous opportunity for our companies to show the quality and innovation which underpins local food and also to keep abreast of global trends within manufacturing, retail and foodservice.
“I am impressed by the excellence of local products. Many of our companies are already competing and winning in challenging markets such as France, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Scandinavia.
“While some of the biggest European retailers now list our products such as beef, lamb, cheese and butter, porridge oats and snacks, I am convinced that there are a great many other local businesses that could be selling to markets beyond Great Britain and the Irish Republic.
“There’s tremendous scope for local food and drink to harness the business potential developing from the growing focus on the provenance of products from safe sources, Northern Ireland’s excellent farms.
“Food and drink is also an industry in Northern Ireland that has continued to grow in terms of sales and employment during the recession, which demonstrates its resilience, focus on innovation and commitment to sales.
“Anuga is among an extensive programme of marketing opportunities developed for local companies in global markets. In February, for instance, there will be a chance for companies to assess business in the Middle East and India at the Gulfood show in Dubai. I’d also like to see more food companies taking advantage of the new market development opportunities provided by Invest NI trade missions.”