16th July

Seafood industry urged to embrace ambition and innovation

Ireland's seafood industry could be generating €2 billion a year in total revenues and supporting up to 11,000 jobs by 2025 - but only if it develops critical mass and scale; implements innovation and succeeds in attracting new talent, a conference of seafood leaders and investors heard recently.

BIM Leadership conf8

Addressing the BIM-organised Leadership and Scale conference, Eddie Power of Green Isle Foods said that such optimistic predictions were "realistic and achievable. All that's necessary is amibition and the will to do it."

Donal Buckley, BIM; Vincent Carton, Manor Farm Poultry; David McWilliams, event chairman and Eddie Power, Green Isle Foods

Full story see June/July issue from May 30

Island Seafoods recognised as 2015 ‘Green Business of the Year’

Donegal-based Island Seafoods has scooped two major ‘green’ awards including best in business recognition, ahead of strong competition from blue chip companies such as Coca Cola; Glanbia and Dairygold.

Sponsored and assisted by BIM, the Seafood Development Agency, Island Seafoods is a family-owned business and is part of a green movement to reduce its carbon footprint, by using hydroelectric power to generate 65% of its electricity.

Island Seafoods

Michael O’Donnell, Business Development Manager, Island Seafoods receiving the overall ‘Green Business of the Year’ award from Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly, T.D

BIM assisted Island Seafoods to reduce its running costs as Donal Buckley, BIM’s Business Development & Innovation Director explains:

“Island Seafoods took part in our Green Seafood Business Programme and they were a pleasure to work with as they already had a strong green company policy in place. To win the overall Green Business Award is not only a great result but for the overall Irish seafood sector.”

Read more: Island Seafoods recognised as 2015 ‘Green Business of the Year’

Ireland's seafood sector to receive €241m development funds

A programme for Ireland's seafood sector of double the previous investment by 2020 "demonstrates our commitment to growing and developing the sector" says marine minister Simon Coveney.

The €241m programme comprising €147m provided under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and €94m government funding, is subject to adoption by the European Commission.

seafood development program

L-R; Michael Keatinge, Fisheries Development Manager BIM,Milos Korinek, Fishmonger Scally SuperValu; Minister Simon Coveney TD; Dr Susan Steele Chair SFPA; Tara McCarthy Food & Beverages Director Bord Bia; Peter Heffernan CEO Marine Institute and Cecil Beamish DAFM Clonakilty

Speaking at the launch in Clonakilty, Co Cork, Minister Coveney added that seafood was widely recognised as a "high growth area" of the Irish economy and has the potential to grow to €1bn by 2020. Currently the sector is worth approximately €850m with exports growing by 70% since 2009 to €540m.

Read more: Ireland's seafood sector to receive €241m development funds

Bio-marine Ireland Ltd gets green light for €40m project

Donegal County Council has granted initial planning permission for the construction of a €40m, seven-acre facility, for Bio-marine Ingredients Ltd, adjacent to the new pier in Killybegs, Co Donegal.


Planning permission is granted for the 7-acre, Bio-marine Ingredients Ltd facility in  Killybegs, Co Donegal . Photo Gillian Mills

According to chief executive, Jason Whooley, BII is projected to create 70 long-term jobs and a further 50 jobs in the construction phase.

"This projct fits very comfortably into the recently launched Action Plan for Jobs 2015 which places particular emphasis on balanced regional development and job creation."

Read more: Bio-marine Ireland Ltd gets green light for €40m project

Investment package for Irish seafood companies

Eighteen Irish seafood companies have been awarded €2.7 million in grant-aid under the 2015 Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme. Taken in conjunction with private sector support, total investment will be almost €9 million.


Co-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the European Fisheries Fund, the projects are projected to deliver 145 jobs and €41 million in additional sales by 2017.

Read more: Investment package for Irish seafood companies

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%).

Bord Bia  2014 seafood exports

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

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