North­ern ire­land tar­gets hos­pi­tal­ity Sec­tor in 2018

CateringNews Middle East - - Event Review -

Speak­ing on the side-lines of Gul­food last week, In­vest North­ern Ire­land said trade to the UAE is grow­ing year on year.

“At the mo­ment we are up by over 10% from last year in our food and bev­er­age ex­port and 90% in the dairy sec­tor alone,” Karl Devlin, busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ager - Mid­dle East and Hong Kong, Food and Drink Divi­sion at In­vest North­ern Ire­land said.

“We had new com­pa­nies ex­hibit­ing at Gul­food for the first time and are see­ing growth in a num­ber of sec­tors, dairy be­ing the big­gest fo­cus of last year is con­tin­u­ing to see growth,” he added.

Com­ment­ing on their par­tic­i­pa­tion at Gul­food, Sheethal Rishi, busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ager - UAE for In­vest North­ern Ire­land said: “We started the year pos­i­tively with Gul­food where we had 17 com­pa­nies ex­hibit­ing. Most of them are al­ready in re­tail stores and some have dis­trib­u­tors so in a cer­tain sense they are al­ready in the mar­ket but what we are look­ing to do in 2018 is progress that suc­cess.

“The sec­tor it­self in re­tail space has grown by 60% and most of our com­pa­nies are able to cater to that. North­ern Ire­land is known for its food trace­abil­ity, sus­tain­abil­ity and pure and nat­u­ral prod­ucts. The idea is to in­tro­duce our com­pa­nies to the food ser­vice sec­tor and we are also look­ing at cat­e­gories within mini­bars in ho­tels as most ho­tels are look­ing for sus­tain­able, health and well­ness prod­ucts.

“One of our clients had a lot of suc­cess within the first day of Gul­food it­self as com­pared to the en­tire show last year, that in­di­cates a very sig­nif­i­cant ex­port suc­cess for our com­pa­nies and a lot of our dairy com­pa­nies sup­ply to the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor, we would like to see that grow­ing,” she added.

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