Media Release

Irish Exporters Association

Media Release

Embargo 25th September 2012

New product development support programme (NPD) for the Food and Drink Industry - Irish Exporters Association says it will help maintain competitiveness and jobs.

The Irish Exporters Association has collaborated with Bord Bia to create a fresh new approach to new product development (NPD) for the food and drink industry. The programme, entitled Food Chains for Competitive Advantage, was launched today (25th September) at the RDS SHOP Exhibition by Bernard Coyle, Chairman of the Irish Exporters Association Food and Drink Council and Michael Murphy, Director of Markets, Bord Bia.

"The agri-food sector is playing a vital role in expanding our exports and in the recovery of the Irish economy. However, the industry operates in a very competitive marketplace, driven by trends in health, well-being, convenience and quality. To compete successfully, Irish companies must offer new, innovative, added -value products, in line with customer trends and market demands" stated John Whelan, CEO Irish Exporters Association. He concluded by saying, "This Programme being launched today by the Irish Exporters Association in collaboration with Bord Bia will enable a further group of businesses to create new products and expand exports further."

Michael Murphy, Director of Markets, Bord Bia added: "This is an opportunity for ambitious businesses to increase their competitiveness at home and abroad. Food Harvest 2020 has set an ambitious target of increasing food exports to reach €2 billion. To reach this target, Irish food and drink companies need to continually innovate and develop new products, services or processes that meet the market needs. Innovation and NPD are fundamental to growth in any business."

The IEA Food and Drink Council, Bernard Coyle, speaking at the launch said: "Innovation in the product line adds value to the customer experience, keeps your business relevant to buyers internationally and at home, but also projects an image of superior quality that justifies a premium price. However, innovation and new product development that goes with it continues to be a challenge, with costs, lead-time and economic uncertainty the biggest barriers. This new programme Food Chains for Competitive Advantage (FCCA) which we are launching today with funded assistance from the EU's European Regional Development Fund, is geared to support 25 Irish food and drink companies to create and launch a range of new products for the export market and will assist innovative companies to overcome some of the barriers to more rapid new innovative products creation and release to market."

The IEA encouraged all interested companies to contact Jacqueline Cumiskey ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), Programme Manager, IEA's Food and Drink division for more details and how to apply for this fund assisted programme.

The Food Chains for Competitive Advantage Programme is an Ireland Wales European Regional Development project made possible through a financial contribution from the European Regional Development Fund Ireland Wales (INTERREG 4A) Programme 2007-2013, this article reflects the views of the author only and not those of the Programme Authorities.