President McAleese launches Bord Bia Food Initiative in Spain PDF Print E-mail

Tuesday, 22nd March 2011 (Source: Bord Bia Press Office)

President of Ireland Mary McAleese today (Tues 22nd) launched a new Bord Bia initiative in Spain designed to boost the image and reputation of Irish food in the Spanish market.

The project involves reaching out to student chefs at top catering schools across Spain to build stronger relationships with the future generation of chefs and to establish an awareness of, and loyalty to, Irish produce.

President McAleese today attended the first of a series of ‘Irish Food Master Classes’ conducted by the internationally renowned Michelin star chef Mario Sandoval. These classes will provide trainee chefs with an insight and understanding of Ireland’s unique food and drink product offerings and highlight Ireland’s commitment to quality and sustainability.

In preparation for today’s event, Mario Sandoval travelled to Ireland last month to experience firsthand Ireland’s world-class food production, farming and fishing industries. Speaking at the event President McAleese said “today, we are bringing two food cultures together and, I hope, forging enduring relationships that will bear fruit far into the future. Our investment in research, animal traceability and marketing makes us uniquely placed to provide quality food products.

Food and drink is, in fact, Ireland’s most important indigenous industry, one of our greatest sustainable resources and one of our fastest growing export areas. Today’s Master Class is an important stepping stone in building strong relationships between Spanish kitchens and Irish farms.”

Aidan Cotter, CEO, Bord Bia added “building the premium image and reputation of Irish food in key export markets is a top priority for Bord Bia and is consistent with the objectives to build a brand images as set out in our ‘Pathways for Growth’ document, prepared for Bord Bia by Professor David Bell and Mary Shelman of Harvard Business School.

In 2010, Irish food and drinks exports to Spain were valued at €210 million, an annual increase of 13 percent. Spain is Ireland’s second largest export market for seafood and our third most important for beef and livestock.”


Roz O'Shaughnessy Corporate Communications Manager
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