Bord Bia will host a virtual trade fair this week aimed at supporting Ireland's prepared consumer foods sector, which the trade body said was 'most exposed' by Brexit.
More than 500 virtual trade meetings will be held between 50 Irish consumer foods businesses and buyers from the United Arab Emirates, the US, France, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands and Germany.
The Prepared Consumer Foods Virtual Sourcing Fair takes place from April 13 to 19.
The so-called PCF sector is a major supplier to some of the world's largest foodservice outlets, grocery retailers and restaurant chains, Bord Via said.
As a result of Brexit, total PCF exports across all markets were down by 18% in January, or €37.5 million, while the prolonged closure of the foodservice channel has also impacted firms.
'Crucial Route To Market'
“Ireland’s Prepared Consumer Foods sector is a vital part of our food and drink industry and is a crucial route to market for value added foods," commented Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
"With uncertain changes in traditional export markets, the need to diversify into new priority markets for innovative prepared consumer food product companies has never been greater.My department has been engaged with Bord Bia on an extensive market diversification and prioritisation strategy over recent years to broaden out the global base for this sector which now exports to an impressive 119 countries.
"I heartily welcome buyers from around the world who will connect with Ireland’s world-class sustainable food producers via 500 virtual meetings over six days."
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