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Irish National Food & Agribusiness Conference, Croke Park, June 16

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Irish National Food & Agribusiness Conference, Croke Park, June 16

Irish National Food & Agribusiness Conference, Croke Park, June 16
June 14
14:08 2011

The potential for the global food industry to grow while so many others are in decline, endorses the theory that ‘food is our future’ which is the central theme of the inaugural National Food & Agribusiness Conference which takes place on Thursday, June 16th in Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin.

With over 230,000 jobs linked to it and in the region of €8 billion of produce exported, food and agribusiness is Ireland’s most important indigenous industry. Bord Bia anticipates world food demand to grow by 40% by 2030 and believes with the full extent of the supply chain, from farm to fork, being located here in Ireland, the country is well positioned to take advantage of this growth.

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will open the Conference at 8.45 am.

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will open the Conference with his Ministerial Address at 8.45am. With 22 industry speakers and panelists over the day, Alan Matthews, Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy, Trinity College, Dublin will lead the morning session examining the Irish agri-food industry in an international perspective focusing on staying competitive in a globalising world, while Aidan Cotter, CEO of Bord Bia will explore the pathways for growth, putting the consumer at the heart of everything we do and building on Ireland’s export market.

The international Keynote Address on global dairy markets is being presented by Koert Liekelema of Fonterra, the world’s leading exporter of dairy products, while Brussels-based Conor Mulvihill of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society, which represents over 130 co-operative businesses and organisations in Ireland, will tell the conference that with the Irish dairy industry expected to grow by 50% by 2020 and Quota restrictions in place until 2015, that achieving this expansion brings both challenges and opportunities for this industry.

Paul Kelly, Director, Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII), will outline the real economic impact of the sector and the EU policy initiatives for linkages and growth to the wider economy, while economist and Chairman of Love Irish Food, Jim Power will present the recent performance of the Irish agri-food sector and its potential role in future economic development.

For this inaugural Summit, there are two key industry focused panel discussions. One is “The barriers, challenges and opportunities to Ireland becoming the ‘Silicon Valley’ of food with panelists Jim Bergin, CEO, Dairy Ingredients Ireland, Dr. Anne-Marie Butler, Agricultural Manager, Ulster Bank, Mark Gavin, CEO, Carroll Cuisine, and Mairead McGuinness, MEP contributing.

The other panel will outline their principal recommendations for ‘the future sustainability and growth for Ireland’s most important indigenous industry’ featuring Sharon Buckley, Group Commercial Director, Musgraves Group, Rowena Dwyer, Chief Economist, IFA, and Pat O’Keeffe, President, of the Agricultural Science Association.

Other industry experts speaking at the Food & Agribusiness Conference include:

* John Whelan, CEO of the Irish Exporters Association, on the BRIC economies;

* Michael Barry, Director of IBEC, on climate change reduction initiatives conflicting with growing global demand for food;

* Paul Toner, Partner of KPMG, on the cost efficiencies for business in lean manufacturing;

* Gerard Keenan, Chairman, Richard Keenan & Co, will present a case study on how integrated farm technology and industry collaboration can deliver cost and competitiveness benefits for farmers and processors;

* Gerard Kiely, Commission for Agriculture & Rural Development, European Commission, and Dr Tom Kelly, Head of Knowledge Transfer, Teagasc, will combine to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the future of CAP.

The Conference is presented by iQuest, sponsored by KPMG & Ulster Bank and endorsed by the Food and Drink Industry Ireland. The Conference will be chaired David Meagher, Partner, KPMG, and Tom Leahy, Regional Director South, Ulster Bank Business Banking RI.

For further information contact Hilary Hughes on 01 2411520, mobile 087 2381824 or email: hilary@iquest.ie. www.agribusinesssummit.ie

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