Northern Ireland dairy industry hosts overseas buyers
As part of a programme to support the export of dairy products outside the EU, six buyers from Taiwan, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates have visited Northern Ireland. The programme, which is jointly funded by the EU and the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland, will bring 16 buyers per year for the next 3 years to see the NI diary industry first–hand.
During their visit, the buyers were briefed on the range of stringent EU standards that govern the operation of the Northern Ireland dairy industry, and how these are monitored by agencies such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). The buyers also heard about the Food Fortress Ireland feed assurance scheme and had an opportunity to visit CAFRE’s state of the art Greenmount Campus.
Commenting on the visit Dr Mike Johnston, Chief Executive of the Dairy Council said,
“The objective of this programme is to grow export revenue by helping dairy companies to identify potential new customers and bring them to Northern Ireland to see first–hand the high quality of EU milk and dairy products we produce. All of the buyers on this first Inward Mission were very impressed by what they saw and heard, and I am confident new business will be the result.”
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Jonathan Bell MLA, who hosted a dinner for the buyers at Hillsborough Castle, was equally positive about the prospect of new business being done. He said:
“Getting buyers to Northern Ireland is an important part of the process of achieving sales. In Northern Ireland we produce high quality milk and dairy products that meet EU standards, and we can provide a sustainable supply of these products. This programme will help to drive growth in exports and will help the dairy sector play its part in meeting the targets set in Going for Growth, the Agri Food Strategy Board’s strategic action plan. It is vital we continue to maximise potential especially in relation to new and existing export markets.”
Pictured are Jonathan Bell (centre), Dr Mike Johnston (3rd left) and Harry O’Neill, Chairman of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland (3rd right) welcoming overseas buyers from Taiwan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
For more photographs of the visit, click here