Local food companies are being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to pitch for export business at Alimentaria 2014 in Barcelona, one of the industry’s world’s leading trade shows.
The Northern Ireland Naturally presentation, organised by Invest NI, at the three-day exhibition will feature food from eight local companies keen to expand sales in Spain and other markets in Europe and further afield.
Details of the Alimentaria showcase were announced as Invest NI is encouraging companies in all sectors to enter the Export Challenge Competition being held in association with British Airways.
The unique competition offers first time exporters and more experienced exporters the opportunity to win free flights, accommodation and expert market support to help them boost sales abroad. Information about the event is available on www.investni.com/exportchallenge.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, said: “The Export Challenge is a new initiative to highlight the importance of international business to the development of companies and the wider Northern Ireland economy. Research shows that companies focused on exporting achieve faster, more profitable and sustainable growth. The aim of the Export Challenge is to encourage companies to define their export strategy and gain valuable assistance in exploiting it, as well as encourage companies not currently exporting to consider doing so.
“Our participation in events such as Alimentaria in Barcelona reflects our strategic focus on assisting companies to grasp the opportunities now developing worldwide especially from consumers seeking tasty food and drink that offers provenance and safety.
“Food and drink is among our most successful industries and has immense potential for faster growth in international markets. Alimentaria is recognised by the major international operators in food and drink manufacturing, distribution and trade and is among an extensive programme of activities organised by Invest NI to promote international sales. It can provide a great platform for our Great Taste Award winners taking their first steps into the International marketplace.”
Alimentaria takes place from 31 March to 3 April and is expected to attract around 150,000 buyers and other decision makers from around the world. Northern Ireland is among 60 countries exhibiting at the event which has attracted over 1,000 exhibitors.
The exhibition, held every two years, attracts food distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers and expert service providers.
Among the Northern Ireland foods on show are products from three companies with business in Spain – Irwin’s Bakery in Craigavon and Grace’s Traditional Irish Biscuits, Bangor, which recently signed a contract to supply El Corte Ingles, one of Europe’s most respected retailers. White’s in Tandragee also supplies Supercor, the supermarket division of El Corte Ingles.