Press Release 16 March 2021

 Although we are a small island nation, every St Patrick’s Day a global celebration of Irishness occurs and stretches around the globe. This celebration is a joyful expression of our nature, culture, and identity, and serves as an opportunity to strengthen our existing relationships abroad and to forge new ones.

This March, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., and Minister of State for New Market Development, Martin Heydon T.D, in conjunction with Bord Bia, is leading a series of meetings with key global customers across the UK, France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and China that will continue to build the personal relationships and trust needed to sustain the added value trajectory for Irish food and drink on international markets.

Emphasising the importance of these engagements, Minister McConalogue stated:

The St Patrick’s Day festival is celebrated globally.  It offers a unique opportunity for the Irish Government to promote our agri-food produce on an international stage, to renew strong bonds that already exist and to create new ones with businesses worldwide. Our aim is to sustain and strengthen our markets for Irish agri-food produce overseas as we face the twin challenges of Covid and Brexit. The quality, safety, and sustainability of our food offering are what opens doors for us on international markets. We cannot take any of these attributes for granted.  We must continue to deliver under each of these headings if we are to build long-term productive relationships with customers across the globe.

The Ministerial agenda will culminate in a virtual trade mission to China. This will include high-level customer meetings and a ‘Driving Growth in China’ seminar for Irish exporters, featuring experts on the Chinese market across the meat, dairy, seafood, and alcohol sectors.

Minister Heydon said,

Continual engagement with our friends across the globe refreshes and sustains relationships in business. This St Patrick’s Day, through a unique platform, I am delighted to be putting Irish food and drink at the heart of our virtual celebration. This is an opportunity to engage with key international customers, across the entire food and drink sector. It is a chance to acknowledge our industry’s resilience in the face of the Covid pandemic and to commend it for never failing in its commitment to its customers to supply sustainably produced, premium food products.  This programme of events will provide opportunities to Irish agri-food exporters to highlight the quality of our offering to a global audience.

Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, added,

Our St Patrick’s Day 2021 programme of activity has been fully reimagined with an enhanced, and welcomed, focus on market development across priority European and international markets. Through our network of offices around the world, Bord Bia has capitalised on the invaluable platform of St Patrick’s Day to deliver high-level business development meetings, targeted trade events and a series of impactful promotional campaigns across 16 countries.