Food & Drink Council Meeting 18-10-2012

Coucil Attendees: Bernard Coyle (Mr. Crumb), Jacqueline Cumiskey (IEA), Jennifer Melia (Enterprise Ireland), John Whelan (IEA), Liam Hyland (Green Isle), Michael Murphy (Bord Bia), Pat Higgins (Pasta Concepts), William Keeling (Food Central).

Other Attendees: Anna Cruickshank (DIT), Aoife Bohan (IEA), Ciaran Sweeney (Fyffes Atlantic Shipping Ltd), Conor Hyde (Bullseye Marketing), Cormac Brady (Adforce), David Cullen (OI Research), Gerry Power (Sysco), Gwen Dempsey (Researcher), John Hickey (John Hickey & Associates), Lisa Rowntree (Hogan’s Farm), Margaret Carrigan (Ulster Bank), Paul Hogan (Hogan’s Farm), Ruairi Horan (Emerald Freight), Veronica Molloy (Crossogue Preserves),

Apologies: Anthony Quinn (Irish Dog Foods), Daniel Hickey (AllinAll), Fran Dunne (Irish Dog Foods), John Flahavan (E.Flahavan & Sons), Mary Harney (Dawn Farm Foods), Peter Cullen (Aran Candy), Susan O’Keeffe (DSV).

Bernard Coyle, chairman of the food and drink council invitee all attendees to sit in on the usually closed council meeting. The following were discussed by Bernard:
1. Nominations for the Council for 2013: All attendees were given a nomination form to nominate people they would like to see on the council next year, they were also allowed nominate themselves.
2. F&D Strategy for 2013: Food and Drink export council, Co-opetition, Origin Green, FCCA project, Issue of jobs skilling, New markets: BRIC, Logistics services for food and drink industry.
3. Export Awards 2013: Seafood Exporter of the Year/Irish Food & Drink Exporter of the Year/
Innovation Exporter of the Year/Sustainable Exporter of the Year
4. Exporting Review Magazine
5. Irish Exporters Association put in a Pre- Budget Proposition: Does anyone have suggestions that they wish to be considered for this?  Forward any suggestions to Jacqueline and she will forward them to John.
6. Any further issues any attendees have.

John Whelan acknowledged the unfortunate closing of Olhausens who were a member of the IEA and who sat on the food and drink council.

Anna Cruickshank of DIT commented on the issue of jobs skilling informing the council that just last week she attended the graduation of 250 food related graduates and 30 graduating with M.Sc in Innovation and product development etc.
Bernard Coyle has suggested that the IEA can work with DIT to make the industry aware of these graduates, as there is a serious barrier somewhere with recruitment of food and drink graduates. Jacqueline Cumiskey to liaise with Anna Cruickshank following the meeting, on how they can best work together on this issue.

1st Presentation: Jacqueline Cumiskey - Food Chains for Competitive Advantage. (Attached)
Jennifer Melia (Enterprise Ireland): “Is there a cap on the amount of funding the IEA will be giving the 25 companies under the FCCA project.”
Jacqueline Cumiskey: “It is more of a mentoring service we will be providing the companies with and not a grant that we are providing.”

Lisa Rowntree of Hogan’s Farm: “Will the FCCA project effect R&D grants etc., which the company may be using?”
Jacqueline Cumiskey: “No, but we will confirm this with Enterprise Ireland.”

2nd Presentation: Gwen Dempsey – Qualitative Research: Barriers to Innovation in the INTERREG area. (Attached)
Pat Higgins of Pasta Concepts: “Overall it is up to top management to support innovation and to provide and construct a template that the NPD people within the organization can follow. Also it is very important to realise the importance of your customer, as the customer will be closer to the consumer. Instead of second guessing you should take a step with your customer, as they are a great source of information.”
Jacqueline Cumiskey: As part of the project we will be providing each of our companies with a template to follow.

Lisa Hogan of Hogan’s Farm: “Resources is the biggest stumbling block. Trying to justify a top heavy resource is hard in this economy. Also if you are not exporting it is hard to justify NPD resources for only 4 million customers. Also commercialisation needs to be at the forefront of your project to avoid failing at a later stage”.
Jacqueline Cumiskey: “Commercialisation is the first module of our project. Also we will be providing a stage gate process for the companies to work with.”

Jennifer Melia of Enterprise Ireland: “It is disappointing to come to meetings like this and to hear people still do not understand R&D tax credits and grants and what is considered innovation and what is considered tweeking and what is considered eligible. However innovation vouchers are being utilized by many smaller companies who find them very helpful.

William Keeling of Food Central: “Did anything great come out of the 20 companies that were interviewed for this research.”
Gwen Dempsey: “No nothing extraordinary was found in the companies researched. However many of them had good structures in place and were doing considerably well. The main issue I found coming out of the research is if you don’t give the responsibility of NPD to someone it tends to get pushed aside and forgotten about.”

John Whelan: “If anyone here is interested in the FCCA programme or knows of some companies they think could benefit from it, please contact Jacqueline following this meeting.”

3rd Presentation: David Cullen – The new Irish Consumer. Due to the content and the size of this presentation it was impossible to upload it to the website. If anyone wants some information from this presentation please get in contact with us.

John Whelan: “Do you do market research for companies against trends.
David Cullen: “Research tends to be more bespoke but we bring in trends to look to the future and anticipate the future.”

4th Presentation: Cormac Brady - Performance Marketing for the US and Worldwide Marketing. (ATTACHED)

Bernard Coyle closes the meeting.

Next Meeting: TBC