Industry & Business

Innovation For Sustainable Growth – Aviva Stadium, Dublin – September 10th 2014

Innovation For Sustainable Growth – Aviva Stadium, Dublin – September 10th 2014

Innovation For Sustainable Growth – Aviva Stadium, Dublin – September 10th 2014
August 18
12:57 2014

‘Innovation for Sustainable Growth’ is the theme of Food & Drink Business Europe’s inaugural Conference and Exhibition for the Irish food and beverage industry to be staged on Wednesday, September 10th at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The event will connect key stakeholders in the food and beverage manufacturing, retail and food service industries in Ireland. The keynote speakers have been selected because of their proven track records in successfully creating, building, managing, operating and marketing sustainable food and beverage brands, both domestically and internationally.

Furthermore, speakers with specific expertise have also been assembled to provide delegates with an insight into the key issues currently facing the food and beverage industry including:

* Brand building and innovation;

* New product development;

* Ingredient reformulation;

* Manufacturing innovation;

* Packaging innovation;

* Supply chain innovation;

* Sustainability;

* Food safety;

* Traceability;

* Information Technology;

* New legislation.

Central Role

Bord Bia’s ‘Origin Green’ national sustainability development programme is designed to help Ireland become a world leader in sustainably produced food and drink.

With a turnover of over Eur25 billion and some 700 companies employing about 43,000 people, the food and beverage industry is Ireland’s largest indigenous manufacturing sector and central to the country’s economic recovery.

Due to the relatively small size of the domestic market, exports are a crucial source of revenue to Irish food and drink manufacturers. The Irish food industry has traditionally been strong in meat processing and dairying but has also developed a sophisticated convenience food sector as well as an international expertise in food ingredients. Brewing and distilling are key strengths on the drinks side.

The value of Irish food and drink exports grew by 9% in 2013 to approach Eur10 billion for the first time, representing growth of 40% in the last four years with revenues almost Eur3 billion higher than in 2009. The UK remains the largest export market for Irish food and drink products, accounting for 42% of sales worth Eur4.1 billion in 2013.

Ambitious Growth Targets

The Irish Government has pledged, through its Food Harvest 2020 development strategy, to substantially increase employment in the food and beverages industry over the next six years. Food Harvest 2020 sets a number of ambitious growth targets, including increasing the value of primary output in the agriculture and fisheries sector by Eur1.5 billion (a 33% increase); growing value added sales by Eur3 billion (a 40% increase) and achieving food and drink exports of Eur12 billion (an increase of 42%) by 2020.

The Irish food industry has traditionally been strong in meat processing and dairying but has also developed a sophisticated convenience food sector as well as an international expertise in food ingredients.

However, this will require major expansion across all sectors of the food and drink industry in Ireland with companies of all sizes playing their part. To attain the Food Harvest 2020 targets, Irish food and drink companies will have to accelerate their innovation and develop new products, services or processes to meet rapidly changing market needs.

While innovation and NPD are pre-requisites for success in any enterprise, sustainability is becoming equally important as concern for the environment becomes a priority for consumers.

Indeed, a central theme of Food Harvest 2020 is to build on the clean green image of Irish food production as a basis for competing in premium quality food markets internationally. Bord Bia’s ‘Origin Green’ national sustainability development programme, which was launched in June 2012, is designed to help Ireland become a world leader in sustainably produced food and drink.

Scaling Up

The Irish food and drink industry has major advantages due to the ‘green’ image Ireland has abroad and the high reputation it has earned for naturally sourced food. However, the industry needs to scale-up while still retaining its competitiveness in global terms as it seeks to further develop export sales and take advantage of economic recovery at home. Ireland is an open economy and consequently Irish food and drink companies face stiff competition, particularly from their UK counterparts, in the domestic market.

Innovation and sustainability are obviously crucial as Irish food and beverage processors of all sizes seek to meet the changing needs of consumers, both at home and abroad.

A key challenge facing food and drink companies, especially small to medium enterprises, is how to take advantage of market opportunities through innovation in new product development and branding in the food chain? How to gain funding is also an issue as is access to R&D resources.

The Innovation for Sustainable Growth Conference & Exhibition has been designed to provide the answers to these dilemmas.

The event will provide delegates with the opportunity to listen to compelling case studies relevant to their own circumstances, to meet with senior decision makers in their industry, and to discover new sustainable technologies and solutions.

The ‘Innovation for Sustainable Growth’ Conference & Exhibition is unique in that it will bring together senior executives responsible for driving a more sustainable food and beverage processing sector in Ireland.

The event is being organised to facilitate dialogue between the key stakeholders responsible for inward investment, growth in Ireland’s food and beverage manufacturing base, capital investment in new processing facilities, growth in jobs and delivering the targets set out in Food Harvest 2020.

Speakers With Proven Track Records in Management

The line-up of keynote speakers, each with a proven track record in management, will provide visitors to the Conference & Exhibition with the opportunity to learn at first-hand how to develop and implement a strategy for sustainable manufacturing.

For example, John Walshe, the managing director of Callan Bacon since 1985, has nearly thirty years of experience in the highly competitive meat sector.

Caroline Keeling, chief executive of Keelings Group.

Since taking over the Keelings fruit production and food distribution business as group managing director in 2006, Caroline Keeling has increased the company’s turnover by 50% to Eur300 million, and extended the brand to include five divisions, with operations in the UK, Europe and Asia.

In addition to presentations from the heads of well established family businesses such as Carton Group and Keelings Group, relative newcomers like Celtic Pure and the Irish Whiskey Company will also be represented.

Business entrepreneur John Teeling has been successful in building from scratch an international company with global brands, having founded Cooley Distillery in 1985 before selling the business to US spirits group Beam for $95 million in 2011. John Teeling’s latest business venture, Irish Whiskey Company, is now planning to spend Eur35 million over the next four years transforming the Great Northern Brewery site in Dundalk into a distillery.

Bord Bia chairman Michael Carey has a wealth of entrepreneurial experience and expertise from working within the Irish and UK food industries at companies including Kellogg’s (UK/Ireland), Fox’s Biscuits and Evian/Volvic before establishing Jacob Fruitfield (now part of Valeo Foods) in 2002. Michael Carey is currently executive chairman of The Company of Food, which offers a diverse combination of food industry strategic, commercial, branding and operating experience, and partners with companies to help them develop focused revenue and profit growth strategies.
The Conference is being chaired by Simon McKeever, CEO of the Irish Exporters Association. With over 50 years experience in the Irish and international arena, the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) is the only national body that exclusively represents the needs of Irish exporters.

Keynote Speakers

Eoin Donnelly – MD, Lilly O’Briens

Michael Carey – Executive Chairman, The Company of Food, & Chairman of Bord Bia

John Teeling – Founder, Irish Whiskey Company

Jim Corbett – MD, Bewleys

Vincent Carton – MD, Carton Group

Caroline Keeling – CEO, Keelings Group

Eugene McEneaney – Founder, Celtic Pure

John Walshe – MD, Callan Bacon

Conference Chairman –Simon McKeever – CEO, Irish Exporters Association

Additional Speaker Zones

In addition to the keynote speakers, the conference and exhibition area will feature two other speaker zones where experts in areas such as process control, packaging innovation, supply chain management; traceability, and IT, will make presentations. Delegates will be able to gain an audio/visual copy of each presentation, if they are unable to attend in person.


Innovation is crucial to developing a sustainable food and beverage manufacturing sector. The Conference programme will be augmented by an exhibition featuring the latest developments in all aspects of food and beverage production from field to plate.

The Conference & Exhibition will provide a forum for key suppliers of ingredients, process technology, supply chain management solutions, packaging equipment, packaging materials, materials handling systems, environment and energy saving solutions, food safety, control and automation systems, and logistics and distribution systems and services to meet and discuss the latest trends with potential buyers.

Exhibitors at the event include:


* Aspera Solutions

* Cold Move


* GEA Group

* Goliath Packaging Systems

* Kuehne + Nagel

* O’Toole Transport

* ProStrategy Colman


* Repak

* Smurfit Kappa

* Veolia Water

* WrenTech WRT

For further information contact Premier Publishing & Events on Tel 353 1 6120880, Fax 353 1 6120881, E-mail or visit


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