Business Growth For UncertainTimes

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Business Growth For UncertainTimes

Business Growth For UncertainTimes
September 16
11:39 2016

“Uncertainty is something the Irish food and drink industry has been grappling with for some time,” commented Una FitzGibbon (pictured), Marketing Director of Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), at the recent Food & Drink Business Conference and Exhibition in Dublin. She was referring to how the industry had faced challenges such as the ‘credit crunch’ in 2008 and the more recent ‘horsemeat crisis’.

“Brexit is a profound crisis and a prolonged crisis,” she added. “Clearly there is an immediate currency impact effect and Bord Bia is providing assistance on an ongoing basis.”

With 63 million consumers, “the UK is the most sophisticated retail and food service channel probably in the world. It has led the industry in many ways and continues to invest in technology,” she remarked. “It has also invested in standards, to pre-empt what consumers are looking for, and in securing its supply chains.”

BordBiaBrexitSince 2008, Irish food and drink companies have been working on improving their innovation and sustainability. These ongoing efforts will become increasingly important in the Brexit era.

“Potentially there will be more competition and less expensive product on the market for some time,” she said. “This will require a change in equilibrium between price and value, as perceived by consumers.”

She identified two clear routes to rebalancing. Reducing costs to produce the same products for less is one option. However, much has already been done by Irish food and drink manufacturers in this regard leaving limited scope for further cost reduction.

Origin Green

BordBiaOriginGreenLogo“The other option is to increase value for consumers.” She continued: “Origin Green is addressing both sides of the value and price scale.”

Origin Green is Bord Bia’s innovative sustainability programme, which is underpinning Ireland’s green image abroad. The programme sets out Ireland’s ambition to become a world leader in the delivery of sustainable, high-quality food and drink products. Indeed, Bord Bia believes it will be key in setting Irish food and drink exporters apart from their competitors.

The Origin Green programme is helping manufacturers to cut costs in energy consumption, water usage and waste. It is also adding to the ‘value’ proposition by allowing Irish manufacturers to show that their food and beverage products are independently certified as being sustainably produced. This is helping to differentiate Irish food and drink products in international markets. “Customers need a secure and safe food supply,” concluded Una FitzGibbon, who leads the strategy and communications for Origin Green.

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