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Coveney keeps focus on Irish Food in Abu Dhabi

On the second leg of his week long visit to the Gulf States, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, met the Chairman of Agthia,  Mr. Rashed Mubarak Al Hajeri.

Established in 2004,  Agthia is a key player in Abu Dhabi’s food security strategy, and is 51% owned by the Abu Dhabi Government. It is actively involved in government food security initiatives, and its Chairman also sits on the board of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority. 

Agthia is a major purchaser  of raw materials and  a manufacturer of dairy and other products. It has major interests in agri and consumer businesses, manufacturing and marketing a product range as diverse as flour  and animal feed, mineral water, fruit juices and yoghurts.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Coveney said:

“Agthia is one of the major players in the food sector in the Gulf Region, with an active role in relation to food security. I was delighted to have the opportunity today to present Ireland’s Food Harvest Plan for the development of its agri food sector, and to outline the tremendous potential for mutually beneficial commercial arrangements between Irish companies and major purchasers of raw materials and food products in Abu Dhabi.

The opportunities for the development of positive business relationships between Irish operators in the dairy, beef and sheepmeat sectors, and for the commercialisation of Irish expertise in areas such as food safety and product development, and food technology have never been more evident, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to increase the profile of the Irish agri food sector with such an influential  international player. 

The Minister also visited the Lulu’s retail group, which is among the largest retailers in the Middle East, and one of the fastest growing globally.  The company already stocks a number of high quality Irish food products and the visit assisted  Irish suppliers in increasing  their profile with the company.


There day also had a strong food engineering and technology focus. In this regard the Minister facilitated a meeting between 10 Irish companies in this sector an UAE market experts , who provided  advice on routes to market and identified potential contacts in the Region. The Minister said that he was pleased to be in a position to provide a platform for developing Irish companies in this sector which had so much potential. 

Bord Bia have also announced today that they will be opening an office in the region to provide support the doubling of exports by 2020, which was welcomed by Minister Coveney. 

The Minister and accompanying agencies and companies are continuing the week long trip to the Gulf travelling tomorrow to Dubai and then onto Saudi. With almost 20 meetings haven now taken place over 2 days there has been very positive discussion and serious progress in the areas of equine, food security along with dairy and beef exports. 

 Schedule for October 29th to October 31st

 

Time

Meeting

Saturday 26th October Dublin/Abu Dhabi UAE/ Doha QATAR

9:20

Dept for Abu Dhabi

19:50

Arrive Abu Dhabi

21:50

Depart Abu Dhabi

21:50

Arrive Doha, Qatar(I hr difference)

 

Depart Airport for hotel

Sunday 27th: Doha Qatar / Abu Dhabi UAE

Time

Meeting

6:30

Depart Sheraton

07:30-08:30

Irish Qatari Business Breakfast

9:45

Meeting with Minister for Environment H.E. Ahmad Bin Amer Bin Mohammed Al Hemaidi

10:45

Meeting with Hassad: Food Focused Sovereign Wealth Fund

11:15

Depart Hassad for Meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs

11:30-12:15

Meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs

12:20-14:00

ITM Programme: Meetings (HRI & ITM Lunch)

 

Mr Al Naemi (Kilfrush)

 

Horse Sport Ireland Meeting

 

Hr Hamad Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah (President of Qatar Equestrian Federation).

14:30

Meeting Chairman Qatar National Food Security Programme 

15:45

Depart QNFSP for Airport

16:30

Arrive Doha Airport

17:55

Depart Doha(Qatar) for Abu Dhabi

19:55

Arrive Abu Dhabi, transfer to Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island

21:30

Working Dinner

 

Monday 28th: Abu Dhabi UAE

Time

Meeting

07:00-08:00

Breakfast Briefing: Minister & Companies

9:15

Depart for Meeting with Chairman of ADDED

10:00

Meeting with HE. Nasser A. Alsowaidi-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Dept Of Economic Development (ADDED) in the presence of H.E. Mohamed Omar Abdulla - Undersecretary of ADDED

11:45

Meeting with Mr Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Agthia, Food and beverages company.

13:00-15:00

Abu Dhabi Irish Business Council Lunch, Ministerial Key Note Address

15:30

Lulus Store Visit

16:30

Al Forsan Equestrian centre

18:00-18:30

Meeting with Minister and Agri Tech Companies

19:30-21:00

Trade Reception: Ministerial Key Note Address

Irish Trade Delegation, Customers, Media, Irish Business Network

 

During Reception Meeting with Mr Yuseff Ali, Managing Director, Lulus supermarkets:

Post Reception

Debriefing and Preparatory meeting for Tuesday

   
 

Tuesday 29th Abu Dhani & Dubai UAE / Riyadh KSA

Time

Meeting

5:30

Buffet Continental Breakfast

6:00

Depart for Dubai (by Road journey time approx 1hr 15mins)

7:30

Arrive For IBN Business Meeting incl ITM presentation to George Horan of Dubai Duty Free

07:30-09:00

IBN Breakfast Meeting

09:30-10:25

Dubai Chamber Event-Ministerial Speech

11:00-11:30

Meeting with Minister for Environment & Water

12:15

Meeting Spinneys & Store Visit

13:15-14:15

Spinneys Trade Lunch: Ministerial key note address, Customers, Media, Irish Trade delegation

15:00-16:15

Kerry Engagement

16:30

Equine/Thoroughbred related meetings

19:15

Meeting / Tasting with Irish specialist food importer (Gillian O Neill)

21:15

Arrive Dubai Airport

22:30

Depart Dubai for Riyadh

23:30

Arrive Riyadh (2hrs)

23:30

Depart for Hotel

 

Wednesday 30th October: Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Time

Meeting

7:30

Breakfast & Briefing

8:45

Meeting with GCC Secretary General

10:30

Meeting with Agriculture Minister

11:30

Meeting with Saudi Food & Drugs Authority CEO

12:30

IDB lunch event and presentation

14:30

Meeting with Almarai Dairy Company

15:30

Meeting with HH Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah Bin Muhammad Al Saud

16:30-18:00

Meeting with Agri Tech companies

19:00-21:00

Trade Reception, Embassy of Ireland Irish Trade Delegation, Customers, Media,Irish Business Network

21:00

Depart Trade Reception and Return to Hotel

   
   
 

Thursday 31th October: Riyadh Saudi Arabia/ Dubai & Abu Dhabi UAE

Time

Meeting

7:00

Business briefing breakfast: industry and delegation

10:00

Farrelly and Mitchell event 

10:30

Meeting with Minister for Agriculture

11:00

Arrive at Arabian Horse Farm

12:00-13:15

Lunch with Agriculture Minister

13:15-14:45

Depart Arabian Horse Farm

 

Arrive at Riyadh Airport for Flight to Dubai

16:15-19:00

Depart Riyadh: Flight

19:00

Arrive Dubai

 

Depart Airport for Green Box Event

20:00-23:30

IBN: Green Box Event: Chefs Competition

23:30

Depart Dubai for Abu Dhabi (by road journey time approx 1hr 15 mins)

 

Friday 1st November: Abu Dhabi UAE / Dublin

Time

Meeting

0:45

Arrive at Abu Dhabi airport

2:15

Flight Abu Dhabi to Dublin

6:50

Arrive Dublin

Date Released: 28 October 2013