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Ireland’s Largest Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition Lives Up to Expectations

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Ireland’s Largest Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition Lives Up to Expectations

Ireland’s Largest Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition Lives Up to Expectations
September 16
10:43 2016

Described as ‘the largest gathering of food and drink industry professionals on the island of Ireland’, the third annual Food & Drink Business Conference and Exhibition, held at the Citywest Convention Centre, Dublin, on Wednesday 14th of September, lived up to its billing, attracting over 2,000 delegates to what has become firmly established as a ‘must attend event’ in the Irish business calendar.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘Collaboration for an Innovative Food Island- Everyone to the Table’. Innovation is crucial to building Ireland’s international reputation for producing quality food and drink products and for differentiating its offering in the global market-place. However, following the recent UK referendum on leaving the EU, an additional sub-theme was added to the event: ‘Brexit – What does it mean for the Irish Food Industry?’

fooddrinkconference1september2016Given Ireland’s close trading links with Britain, Brexit obviously has serious implications for Irish food and drink processors across the whole island. A number of carefully selected speakers were able to provide listeners with a better understanding of the key issues now facing the Irish food and beverage industry.

Speakers included Paul Kelly, Director of Food & Drink Industry Ireland- Ibec, who examined the Brexit challenge facing the food and drink sector; Philip O’Sullivan, Chief Economist at Investec, who assessed the opportunities and threats posed by Brexit for Ireland; and Michael Bell, CEO of the Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association, who provided a view of Brexit from the North.

Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO of FSAI.

Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO of FSAI.

Exploring the themes of ‘innovation’ and ‘collaboration’, Larry Murrin, CEO of Dawn Farm Foods, delivered a keynote presentation entitled:Innovation – the key ingredient in the competitive recipe’; while ‘Collaboration to ensure safe and trustworthy food for everyone’, was the theme of the address by Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO of FSAI (Food Safety Authority of Ireland).

The 2,000 delegates, including food and beverage manufacturers, food retailers, food service companies, Government representatives and independent associations, were able to choose between keynote presentations on the Main Stage and simultaneous conferences on Supply Chain and Procurement, Research and Innovation, Marketing, NPD, Branding & Design, Sustainability, Future Factory, Traceability, Quality and Safety, Packaging and Processing etc.

Many Events in One

fooddrinkconference3september2016A key feature of the 2016 Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition was that it incorporated several dedicated events under one roof. Co-located with the main Conference & Exhibition were –the Food Retail and Hospitality Ireland Expo, Ireland’s largest show dedicated to the food retail, food service and hospitality industry; Craft Beers & Spirits Conference & Exhibition 2016, an event dedicated to the craft brewing and distilling industry; Free From Foods Expo 2016, the only B2B networking platform for food professionals with an interest in the free-from and functional food and drink sector in Ireland; Forecourt Retailing Expo 2016, which examined the latest trends within the Irish forecourt retailing sector; Food Quality & Safety Expo 2016, a solution-based conference and expo designed to meet the food quality and safety educational and informational needs of the food industry including growers, processors, retailers, distributors, food service operators, regulators and academia; and Speciality & Fine Food Fair Expo 2016, which provided the opportunity to meet with Irish and international producers and suppliers of new, artisan food and drink products.

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