Ireland’s seafood industry can achieve €2bn in exports by 2025 by increasing scale, innovation and the recruitment of new talent, said Eddie Power, chief executive of Green Isle Foods.
State agencies, plus a strategic funding, can help deliver this growth, Mr Power told BIM’s ‘Leadership and Scale’ seminar in Killashee House Hotel, Co Kildare.
“Irish seafood is not taking advantage of the current opportunity for expansion,” said Mr Power.
“With a fragmented industry made up of mostly small companies, we are not at the races in comparison to other food sectors. Now is the time for seafood leadership and I envisage two options that will develop the sector substantially by 2015: greater consolidation via voluntary sectoral clusters or sectoral champions enabled by the state agencies to develop our export business.”
Agriculture Minister of State, Tom Hayes, said Irish Seafood has achieved a 24% lift in sales in the Asian market. Global demand for healthy proteins is rising and the Government has made €41.3m available to support the Irish seafood processing sector, he said.
The event featured a speech by Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody, and was chaired by economist David McWilliams.
Stephen Cameron of Scottish Shellfish spoke on producer-led co-operatives, while Vincent Carton, chief executive of Manor Farm Poultry, outlined the role of family succession in managing a seafood company.
Mr Carton said: “Our family business is celebrating its 240th anniversary. Succession through eight generations was haphazard and unplanned and the company, family and individual family members paid for that lack of preparation.
“Through learnings from other Irish family businesses succession for the ninth generation has been thought through and is actively managed,” he said.
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