Meat gains for Northern Ireland

Meat processors in Northern Ireland have gained new business as a result of two major food initiatives.

It is estimated that the Northern Irish food industry has won at least £10m worth of new business as a result of the International Food Exhibition (IFE) in London and the visit to Northern Ireland by a group of Italian meat buyers.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI's food division director, said: "Our follow-up research indicates that most of the 28 companies which took in our pavilion at IFE secured worthwhile business and many of the meat processors involved in the Italian inward mission are negotiating substantive repeat orders.

"Some Italian meat processors have already supplied products to Italian buyers as a result of the recent mission."

Smaller food companies have also secured contracts from other events, such as the St Patrick's Day fair in London's Covent Garden and 'meet the buyer' events organised by Invest NI in the Irish Republic.

"Initiatives planned by us over the next six months will offer food and drink companies significant opportunities to increase business outside Northern Ireland," said Mawhinney.

"Planned activities include a major Northern Ireland presence at the Speciality Food and Drink Show in London; Food on the Move in London, SHOP, Food and Drink Exhibition, Dublin, both in September; and ANUGA international food exhibition in Cologne in October."