Green is a colour that has long been associated with Ireland, but Bord Bia, the Irish food board, was taking the Emerald Isle’s connection with the colour quite literally as it promoted its Origin Green programme at Gulfood.
Michael Hussey, director Middle East Markets, Bord Bia was on hand to speak to Catering News Middle East directly at Gulfood 2018, in Dubai World Trade Centre, about Ireland’s commitment to providing sustainable produce.
“Origin Green is an initiative by the Irish government and the food industry. It is about helping our industry to produce food in a sustainable manner. It’s about producing a lot more food with less environmental impact,” said Hussey.
“At every level of the process, from farm, through processor, all the way to the end consumer we are trying to produce this food with much less impact on the environment. In Ireland we have a grass fed system, we are one of the most carbon efficient producers of beef and dairy products.”
Hussey said he hopes the project will help inspire other agencies to think more about the impact on the environment.
It is clear from speaking to Hussey that he, and his team, have big plans for the Middle Eastern region.
“There is more beef than ever coming out of Ireland and we are looking to get some of the premium end of the market for this region,” he said.
“If you look at exports from Ireland into this market – here in the UAE – it has grown from 58 million Euro in 2016 to 78 million last year, we are hoping to continue that growth. We are also hoping to soon do more than 100 million Euro worth of exports just to this region alone. If you look at the wider GCC we are projecting to do over 300m Euro worth of exports, these are great markets and we are here to promote them the best that we can.”