Northern Ireland agri-food competes with the world’s best – McIlveen

Date published: 17 October 2016


The Northern Ireland agri-food sector is competing with the world’s best, Food and Farming Minister Michelle McIlveen has said during a visit to the SIAL global food exhibition in Paris.

The world’s largest food innovation exhibition, SIAL brings together food producers, processors, buyers and journalists from across the world and this year a number of Northern Ireland companies are taking part.

Highlighting the quality of local produce, the Minister said: “The agri-food sector is a cornerstone of the Northern Ireland economy, generating an estimated £4.8billion in turnover and accounting for a quarter of manufacturing exports, and it continues to receive international recognition.

“Our outstanding natural environment gives our food a unique provenance that appeals to consumers the world over, while our use of the latest traceability and processing techniques means our products and supply chain are among the most trusted and valued. With 2016 being the official Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink, what better way to highlight our offering than to attend SIAL, the biggest event of its kind this year.”

At the show the Minister visited trade stands featuring local food companies, including those hosted by Invest Northern Ireland and the UK Department for International Trade. Miss McIlveen also addressed attendees at a special Game of Thrones-themed dinner in Paris showcasing Northern Ireland meat producers, and will attend the St George Dinner, hosted by the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

She said: “The local meat sector accounts for around half of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing turnover. The Game of Thrones-themed dinner in Paris, hosted by the Livestock and Meat Commission and Invest NI and attended by some of Europe’s top meat buyers, producers and journalists, was a fantastic way of showing the world the quality and uniqueness of Northern Ireland’s offering.

“This event, along with the AHDB’s prestigious St George Dinner, offers a valuable platform for local food producers and farming representatives to engage with and influence their international counterparts.”

The Minister concluded: “I have no doubt that Northern Ireland has made a strong and lasting impression at SIAL. We have representation from both the meat and non-meat sectors and from small, medium and large businesses.

“I continue to be hugely impressed by the standard of our local produce, and I congratulate all of the Northern Ireland companies that attended the exhibition for helping yet again to highlight our natural strengths to a global audience.”

Notes to editors: 

1. Northern Ireland companies taking part in SIAL are listed below.

  • Dunbia
  • Linden Foods
  • Foyle Food Group
  • Moy Park
  • Karro Food
  • ABP
  • Kestrel Foods
  • Rule of Crumb
  • Linwoods Foods
  • Greenfields Ireland

2. The official SIAL website.  
3. More information on Invest NI and its participation in SIAL is available on the Invest NI website.
4. More information on AHDB can be found on the AHDB website.
5. The Department for International Trade website 
6. Follow us on Twitter @daera_ni.
7. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will returned.

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