18th October

Record high growth in seafood exports to existing and emerging markets

Export figures launched by Bord Bia for 2014 reflect a 4% increase, reaching a record high of almost €10.5 billion, marking the fifth consecutive year in export growth for the food and drink industry.

Since 2009, food exports have grown 45% from €3.2 billion. The strongest performers were dairy and ingredients, €3 billion (+3%); prepared foods, €1.8 billion (+8%) and seafood, €540 million (+8%).

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Aidan Cotter, Bord Bia chief executive and Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine announcing the 2014 food and drink export figures

Announcing the figures, Bord Bia’s chief executive Aidan Cotter highlighted the significant shift in destinations with international markets:

"The industry’s drive to broaden export reach to destinations outside of the EU is paying dividends with growth in emerging and international markets now driving export figures, offsetting the limited growth in our established premium EU markets,” he said.

Read more: Record high growth in seafood exports to existing and emerging markets

East coast fishmonger scoops top prize in seafood competition

Gerard Collier, Fishermen’s Catch, Clogherhead, Co Louth, was today (24/11) awarded the title of BIM Young Fishmonger 2015, from a shortlist of five finalists, all of whom demonstrated an “exceptional high standard in technical expertise, product knowledge and customer service’,” remarked Donal Buckley, BIM’s Business Development & Innovation director.

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Martin Shanahan, Fishy Fishy Café and Restaurant with Gerard Collier, Fishermen's Catch, at the Radisson St Helen's Hotel, Dublin 

This is the second year of the awards, developed by BIM to recognise and reward young fishmongers and to encourage new entrants into the business and ultimately raise the bar across the sector.

Read more: East coast fishmonger scoops top prize in seafood competition

Record Irish presence at Chinese Seafood Expo

Eleven Irish seafood companies are exhibiting on the Irish Pavilion organised by Bord Bia at China Seafood & Fisheries Expo, Qingdao, (5-7/11) before an expected 25,000 buyers from over 100 countries.

Speaking at the event, Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, said that Ireland had some of the finest seafood worldwide, which was sustainably harvested from pure clean waters.

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Minister Simon Coveney (right) with Chan Shi and Cathal King, Kings of Connemara

“Business development and trade show events such as these are invaluable in building awareness of our high quality produce to an influential, targeted trade audience. China continues to be a growing market for Irish seafood, with exports increasing by over 300% since 2011 to reach €18m in 2013.”

Read more: Record Irish presence at Chinese Seafood Expo

Seaweed conference update

BIM seaweed conf 2

Announcing the details of Farmed Irish Seaweed: An Ocean Wonder Food?, Donal Maguire, Director of Aquaculture Development Services with BIM said the line-up should appeal to both scientific and commercial audiences:

"The day-long conference will offer delegates an opportunity to hear the latest findings and expert opinion and analysis on how Ireland can best drive forward its own budding farmed seaweed sector."

Read more: Seaweed conference update

Beara Seafoods scoops Seafood Innovation Award

A West Cork seafood company is the 2014 winner of the Seafood Innovation Award which was presented at the recent Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards. Beara Seafoods also received silver in the prepared shellfish category for the 'innovative pre-packed mussel bites', according to sponsors, BIM.

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Paul Ward (BIM); Ger, Helen and Marian Lynch (Beara Seafoods); Katie Healy and Aileen Deasy (BIM)

The sustainably grown Irish rope mussels are removed from their shells, flavoured with garlic and rolled in multigrain crumb and can be freezer stored for up to eight months.

"Battling the recession has been difficult for all companies - and the mussel industry is no different. I knew there was an opportunity for us to add value to our mussels and to develop a product that could demand a higher price on the market," explained Ger Lynch, fifth generation fisherman and company managing director.

Read more: Beara Seafoods scoops Seafood Innovation Award

Castletownbere shellfish company chosen as InterTrade Business Ambassador

Castletownbere company, Shellfish Ireland, is the latest InterTradeIreland business ambassador, announced at a ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin on Wednesday.

President Michael D Higgins as well as Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton, attended events in both the Mansion House and Áras an Uachtaráin to unveil the new business ambassadors.

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Richard Murphy and Gearóid O'Rourke, Shellfish Ireland with President Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin

To develop new markets in Northern Ireland, Shellfish Ireland approached InterTradeIreland and through the Acumen programme, received support to take on a sales and marketing graduate.

Read more: Castletownbere shellfish company chosen as InterTrade Business Ambassador

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