Famed for its expansive green landscapes, artisan producers, and vibrant gastronomic scene, the Emerald Isle, to this day remains one of the finest environments in the world; yielding superlative free-ranging proteins and fresh dairy products that are supplied across the globe, thanks to its rich fertile soils and privileged climate.
Admired as one of the most scientifically advanced and sustainable food production systems globally, the exportation and importation of Irish food, drink, and horticulture are supported by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, who work with producers to ensure that food and drink products exported meet the strictest quality and sustainability standards.
Irish exporters work with Bord Bia to ensure goods have passed strict quality controls, comply with EU food safety legislation and maintain and guarantee the highest quality possible for its products. A study conducted by Bord Bia in 2020 showed that 56% of adults in the UAE feel that food safety standards are more imperative than ever before, revealing that 29% of UAE beef consumers are willing to pay a premium for quality-assured beef.
The primary factors affecting meat choices among those surveyed were quality assurance, naturalness, and animal welfare, all of which remain priority touchpoints for the Irish Food Board.
Further studies have shown that when it comes to food and drink consumers are heavily influenced by human health aspects of sustainability. One in every two adults in the UAE says that the environmental impact of the food they purchase is more important now, motivating brands to adopt greener strategies across their business operations. At Bord Bia, sustainability remains at the forefront of the organisation’s brand pillars and strategy, as they strive to ensure that sustainable production works to deliver a comprehensively healthier lifestyle and nutrition conversation.
Central to Bord Bia’s unique sustainability programme is the minimisation of the environmental and social impact of products produced, packaged and transported, following strict sustainable practices. With Irish meat and dairy, animals are pasture-raised and fed on a grass diet from Ireland’s naturally green fields, enjoying free grazing as opposed to confinement in industrial farms. Moreover, Irish seafood is ethically sourced, with respect to the marine life surrounding the island. Furthermore, the Irish Food Board also assists consumers in identifying and purchasing products of the highest quality through quality markers. These are accentuated by the Origin Green Programme, the world’s only national food and drink sustainability programme, ensuring certified producers grow and produce sustainably under strict quality control.
Looking ahead to 2023 Bord Bia expects to assist more Irish companies supplying plant-based foods to the UAE as well as helping them to expand into Saudi Arabia.
Irish products now available in the UAE range from meat, dairy, poultry, seafood, snacks and drinks. These include brands such as Kerrygold, Butlers Chocolate, Golden Irish eggs, Glenisk yoghurts, Keogh’s crisps, and Ballymaloe sauces, to name a few. These products are available in supermarkets across the UAE, including Spinney’s, Choithrams, Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, as well as online retailers such as Noon and Kibsons. Premium beef, lamb, duck and seafood are also available on menus in many premier dining outlets across the country, including The Maine, REIF Kushiyaki, Atmosphere, Hell’s Kitchen, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Zheng He’s and The Meat Co. to name a few.