Irish food and drink trade body Bord Bia has won €6.7million (£6.1m) in funding to help support the industry in challenges caused by Brexit.
Announced by Irish minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Michael Creed, the new funding includes €300,000 for market prioritisation; €4.4m for market promotion and support in international, UK and other EU markets; €1.6m to strengthen strategic marketing processes and €400,000 for a two-year MSc in Insight and Innovation, recently launched by Bord Bia.
It comes as part of a wider strategy to link the government department’s market access efforts to agencies such as Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland to help access a wider range of markets worldwide.
It builds on recent new initiatives such as a new portal website to bring together the full range of open markets and products, and the relevant conditions of certification in a user-friendly manner for exporters, and a programme of trade missions, including to Japan and the Republic of Korea in November
Creed said: “This funding is part of an overall drive for a joint government, agency, industry and company strategy for market diversification as part of a response to the unprecedented challenges potentially presented by Brexit and already visible in terms of currency volatility.
“I am particularly pleased that companies with a significant dependence on the UK market will benefit from an additional €250,000 in marketing grants, which will bring total projected expenditure on grant schemes in 2017 to €1.45 million, and that a further €200,000 is planned to continue and extend support to horticulture companies undertaking lean projects.”
“The programme is wide-ranging, well thought through and ambitious,” said Creed. “It is, in my view, an appropriate element of our response to the marketing challenges presented by Brexit in terms of business development and diversification.”
The new funding is additional to the €1.6m given to Bord Bia in Autumn 2016 to help food companies highly dependent on the UK market.
Exports of Irish food and drink to international markets increased by 13 per cent in 2016 thanks to increased promotion, with ambitions to continue this growth.