Monday, October 22 09:33:25
With the Taoiseach in Paris fourteen Irish meat companies and one Irish dairy co-operative are among the 5,900 exhibitors from 100 countries in Paris this morning for the French food fair Sial. Sial is one of the world's largest food trade fairs, with almost 140,000 international visitors expected this year, of which more than 40pc will be French buyers. France is the leading eurozone market for Irish food and drink products, and is the second largest global market after the UK.
With Ireland having achieved food exports of almost E650m to France last year, Bord Bia hopes significant contacts and contracts will be made at its Origin Green pavilions again this year. A further three Irish companies are exhibiting independently. Bord Bia chairman Michael Carey said: "Despite challenging trading conditions, Irish exporters continue to grow their business in an increasingly competitive European marketplace.
"Irish food and drink exports to France in 2011 amounted to E646m, an increase of 13.9pc since 2010. "Over the coming days, Bord Bia and the Irish exhibitors will be working together to further develop existing and explore new trade relationships with buyers, based on the world-class quality and sustainable nature of food from Ireland."
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Shane McEntee will visit Sial today. Taoiseach Enda Kenny is to launch Bord Bia's Origin Green programme at Sial following a meeting with French president Francois Hollande