31/08/2007

NI Food Innovators At International Exhibitions

Sixteen food companies, mostly smaller enterprises, are to display their products at two of the biggest exhibitions in the British Isles next week.

They are taking part in stands organised by Invest NI’s Trade division at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair in London and the SHOP exhibition in Dublin, both of which run from 2-4 September.

Eleven companies will be on the Invest NI stand at SHOP in the RDS, Dublin, this is the first time the agency has taken a group stand at the exhibition.

Five companies are being assisted by Invest NI to join the Bord Bia, Irish food board, presentation at the Speciality Food Show, one of the biggest events for smaller food processors in Europe.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Director of Trade, commenting on the two events, says: "Both shows are ideal platforms for smaller companies to reach a targeted audience of buyers in the retail and foodservice sectors from across the British Isles and other parts of Europe. They are geared to smaller companies with innovative products for niche sectors, the type of businesses, which form the backbone of our food industry."

Mr Hingston added: "Our participation at both – the first time at SHOP – is a further demonstration of the strength of our support for a strategically important local industry. SHOP, now in its second year, is a unique event for the retail, food and drink industry in both parts of Ireland. Its main focus is on fresh ideas for the fast developing convenience industry. It offers an opportunity for companies to build business in the Republic, which currently accounts for just 13 per cent of sales by local food processors."

In the run up to the Speciality Food Show, Northern Ireland companies gained 23 gold awards for quality products in the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Awards, which are an integral part of the event.

These companies will be in the running for the overall winner and regional winner awards to be announced during the show.

(SB/SP)

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