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Invest Northern Ireland

Bedford Square, Bedford Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland,BT2 7ES.

Tel: 02890 239090

Fax: 02890 436536
Website Email
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The Northern Ireland Agri Food Sector
The Agri-Food sector in Northern Ireland is one of the most important contributors to the Northern Ireland economy in terms of revenue and employment and is Northern Ireland’s largest manufacturing industry. In 2009 the industry was worth £3.2billion and exports grew by an impressive 27% to £876million (2008).

Nearly two thirds of food and drink from Northern Ireland is now bought by retailers and food service organisations in other parts of the UK and increasingly further afield.
Buyers in virtually all the leading grocery retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, Waitrose and Morrisons, now look regularly to Northern Ireland for a broad range of fresh, frozen, chilled and processed products, from fresh meat, dairy and bakery to ready meals, convenience foods. Niche products are also to be found in the food halls at Harrods, Fortnum and Mason, Liberty and Harvey Nichols.

Northern Ireland’s reputation as a source of quality foods is also spreading worldwide. Wal-Mart, Safeway, Carrefour, Auchan, SuperCor, Spinneys, Mercadona are among a growing list of international retailers shopping regularly in the region. Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn is a longstanding customer particularly for beef and lamb from Northern Ireland farms.

The region can point justifiably to a great many success stories – red meat being bought by Europe’s top retailers; cheese and tea going to the US; porridge oats to the Arabian Gulf and Hong Kong; dried fruit and nut snacks to Singapore, Dubai, the Netherlands and Switzerland; pork sausages, health foods and toasted oats to Spain; milk powder to China, Africa and Central America; coffee to the US, Saudi Arabia and North Africa; potato crisps to Australia; and dry cured bacon to Belgium.

About Invest NI (Northern Ireland Naturally)
Invest Northern Ireland, the region’s main economic development agency, has a dedicated Food Division which delivers fully integrated and responsive services to over 300 local food and drink companies including advice on account management, design, product development, packaging, supply chain and productivity.

Practical support schemes range from assistance to export through trade missions and exhibitions and ‘meet the buyer’ events with key buyers in both food retailing and food services to business development programmes including help to companies in achieving essential quality accreditations demanded by major retailers.

Among the most successful initiatives is the Food Sector Marketing Advisers scheme that is helping Northern Ireland companies increase business in GB and international markets.

Four Food Sector Marketing Advisers utilise market knowledge and their network of contacts to assist local companies pinpoint and secure new orders by brokering face-to-face interviews between the companies and food retailers including multiple chains and organisations supplying restaurants, hotels, cafes and canteens. They also
co-ordinate Invest NI’s programme of ‘meet the buyer’ events. These events have brought key buyers from Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, other parts of Europe, the US and India to Northern Ireland for one-to-one meetings with local food companies. – Invest NI’s dedicated food and drink web site features over 200 Northern Ireland food and drink companies across a range of sectors including Baked Goods, Confectionery, Dairy, Dried Goods, Drink, Fish, Food Service Providers, Fresh Produce, Meat and Non Food.

Invest NI’s Food and Drink Sector Tendering Programme and alert service has been designed to encourage and assist local food and drink companies to compete more effectively for substantial public sector contracts in the RoI. As well as business in the Republic and Great Britain, the marketing initiative is now yielding orders from the US.


Invest NI’s Food Sector Marketing Advisers for the UK and Republic of Ireland markets include: Robin Barnett T: 078 1717 3513,;
Michelle Charrington T: 078 1717 3514,;

Karl Devlin (Scotland / North England) Mob: 07767 393316,;

Shane McArdle in the Republic of Ireland, Mob: 07817 173516,

Ready Egg Products
Located in Lisnaskea in County Fermanagh, Ready Egg Products specializes in the manufacture of high quality pasteurized egg products packaged either in bulk pallecons or bag in box (e.s.l.). The company operates from a state-of-the-art processing plant using hi-tech pasteurization with the facility to customize mixes. The plant currently produces peeled, hard-boiled, liquid eggs and high quality pasteurised egg products for the food service and food manufacturing industries throughout Great Britain and Ireland.

Skea Egg Farms
Skea Egg Farms is a growing family business situated outside Dungannon and supplies Free Range, Barn, Organic, Omega 3 and Standard eggs at competitive national scale levels.





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