Kenny paid a visit to Bord Bia’s new office in Warsaw, Poland, as the food and drink levy body aims to grow exports of Irish food and drink to 11 central European markets.
Beef and pork are among the key products gunning for growth. In the last five years, beef export value in Poland has doubled to €9m and the lack of standardisation and a fragmented industry creates an “opportunity” for Irish beef to exploit, according to Bord Bia.
Poland is also one of the top 10 EU markets for Irish food and drink exports, which have increased overall in value by 15% to €185m in 2016.
During his visit to Bord Bia’s Warsaw office, Kenny remarked that the levy board’s presence in the region would be beneficial for companies looking to forge solid business relationships.
'Embraced the challenge'
“Our food and drink industry has always embraced the challenge of finding new markets for our produce, exporting over 80% of what we produce,” said Kenny.
“From this strategic location Bord Bia can pave the way to new and valuable markets reaching to the eastern borders of the EU with a combined population of 103m and a retail market worth €177bn. While our three largest markets in the region currently absorb 85% of exports, there exists huge potential for further growth.”
Through Bord Bia’s new office, the levy board will targeting 11 central European markets: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
“This office opens at a time when many Irish companies are looking to new opportunities while still holding their positions in traditional markets,” said Bord Bia’s chief executive, Tara McCarthy.
“The value of trade to Poland has almost trebled over the last five years with dairy, beverages and prepared foods, all showing strong growth in 2016.
“The potential for further growth here and in emerging EU markets will increase their attractiveness to exporters and the increasing awareness of Origin Green will offer important assurances to buyers on sustainable sourcing. Bord Bia Warsaw will provide exporters with the resources, consumer insight and market intelligence necessary to help them maximise opportunities in these markets.”