Attending the launches of Expo Milan 2015 and Tuttofood trade fair in Milan, Mr Cotter said Irish food and drink exports to Italy grew in value by 6% to €311m in 2014, with beef accounting for 60% of the total.
Irish food firms ABP, Dawn Meats, Slaney Foods, Kepak, Liffey Meats, and Traditional Meats feature in the Bord Bia Origin Green stand, promoting Ireland’s commitment to sustainable food production. This sits well with Milan Expo’s theme of ‘Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life’.
Mr Cotter said: “International food buyers will see how Irish food production contributes to global sustainable food production at a time when the world needs to increase food output by 70% in the next 40 years.”
Italy is Ireland’s third largest destination for beef, after the UK and France, taking approximately 47,000 tonnes, accounting for almost 20% of total exports to continental Europe.
Expo, formerly the World Fair,takes place every five years and this year is hosted from May 1 to October 31 on a green field site adjacent to Fiere Milano.