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Minister Creed's speech at Global Seafood Fair, Brussels, 25 April 2018

Seafood Expo Global, Brussels 25 April 2018

Speaking points for Minister Creed

  • I am delighted to be here this evening at the world’s largest seafood fair, Seafood Expo Global, to officially launch this trade reception on the Irish stand.  I want to thank Tara McCarthy, Finnian O’Luasa and their colleagues at Bord Bia for the invitation to speak to you and for their hard work organising the Irish aspect of this event.
  • I am glad to see a number of companies from Cork, my home county such as Bantry Bay Premium Seafoods and Keohane Seafoods are here.  In fact as Minister I am glad that the four corners of Ireland are represented at this event through companies such as Errigal Bay, and Connemara Seafoods.
  • It is great to see so many representatives from seafood companies throughout Ireland in attendance.  I wish you all a successful show. 
  • I would also like to extend a welcome to all the international seafood buyers and producers who are here today.  Some of you are already in business with Irish seafood companies and I want you to know your business is very important to us and to the Irish economy.  Others among you may be here to learn more about Irish seafood companies - I am sure that you will find that the exceptional quality of Irish seafood and friendly nature of our producers will encourage you to establish fruitful relationships.
  • Ireland has always been a trading nation and the seafood industry is an important part of our export strategy.  In 2017 Irish seafood exports were valued at €614 million; this is an increase of 9% from 2016. 
  • In fact, Ireland’s seafood exports have increased in value by 89% since 2009 which shows tremendous growth.
  • Our European neighbours in France, Spain, the UK, Italy and Germany, continue to be valued customers for Irish seafood producers, accounting for approximately 61% of our seafood exports. In fact our seafood producers have established successful business relationships right around the globe.  Consumers in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan have developed such an appetite for Irish seafood that they now account for 11% of our exports.
  • Ireland’s thriving seafood export business is a testament to the work done by everyone here this evening. 
  • The importance of events such as Seafood Expo Global in showcasing Ireland’s seafood industry should not be underestimated. The opportunity to foster and grow business in the global seafood market is one we embrace, given the uncertainty and risks associated with relying on any one market.   
  • Marketing the high quality and sustainability of Irish seafood is essential to building and maintaining trading relationships.  
  • Origin Green and the reputation of the Irish seafood industry allow the Irish industry to position itself as a sustainable producer with independently verified credentials.  This means any of you here today purchasing Irish produce can have great confidence in the quality of what you are ordering and in what you will be presenting to consumers in your own marketplace.
  • I would once again like to thank Bord Bia for inviting me to speak at this reception.   I appreciate the hard work undertaken by Tara and her team on an ongoing basis to facilitate Irish seafood companies in their endeavours to secure new business and strengthen existing partnerships.   
  • Please enjoy yourselves and have a successful expo.