Agri-food Exports to Russia Breakfast Briefing - Wednesday 21st September 2011 PDF Print E-mail

This IRBA Breakfast Briefing, sponsored by Investec, on the subject of 'Agri-food Exports to Russia' took place on the morning of Wednesday, 21st September 2011 at Investec's head office in The Harcourt Building, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2.  Speakers included James O'Donnell of Bord Bia; Pat Ward of the Irish Dairy Board and Joe Keeling of Keelings. 

All speakers gave very interesting presentations about the Russian market and their company's experiences in this market. Keelings recently exported a huge consignment of potatoes to Russia which was very successful for the company.  This opportunity arose after a shortfall arose in the domestic Rusisan market and they had to look overseas to fill the gap. The Irish Dairy Board are successfully trading in the market.  According to Pat Ward, Russia is the second biggest grocery market in Europe and seventh largest in the world but it is very fragmented with no retailer having more than 3.5% share of the market.  

A number of the speakers at this event have made their PowerPoint presentations available to attendees.

To view all, please click on the link and scroll down to relevant presentation.


Background to Event: Russia's recent economic development and abundance of natural resources have made the market an increasingly important and attractive trade and investment partner for Ireland. Russian imports have nearly doubled since 2005, and demand for imports has not yet reached pre-financial crisis levels, which indicates an opportunity for further growth, while Russia's GDP growth is expected to average roughly 4% up to 2015, primarily fuelled by a strong recovery in consumer consumption and declining inflation.

Despite the fact that Russia’s agricultural sector contributes 7% of Russia's overall GDP and employs about 10% of the work force, Russia maintains a large trade deficit in agri-food products. The processing sector is unable to source its input needs domestically (especially quality meat and dairy inputs), while consumer demand is increasing, fuelled by rising incomes. With GDP totalling approximately $2.23 trillion in 2010 and with a current population of over 140 million, Russia is expected to surpass France as the largest food and grocery market in Europe by 2020, ultimately creating major opportunities for Irish agri-food exporters looking to enter the large, and increasingly lucrative Russian marketplace.

Agenda (please see below or click here for PDF):
7.30am Registration opens / Continental breakfast served

8.00am Introduction by Seminar Chair John Whelan, CEO Irish Exporters Association

8.10am Welcome by Philip Ahearne, Head of Corporate Foreign Exchange Sales, Investec Bank

8.20am Overview of Ireland Russia Business Association by Vladimir Popov, Vice-Chairman IRBA

8.30am Key Note Address: “Agri-food Opportunities in Russia”, Speaker: James O’Donnell, International Markets Manager, Bord Bia

8.50am “Joint Economic Commission Ireland Russia – Progress on Latest Round”, Speaker: Colm Ó’Floinn, Director General, Promoting Ireland Abroad
Division, Department of Foreign Affairs

9.10am "Potential currency risks & foreign exchange: exchange rate issues on trading with Russia", Speaker: Alan Harrison, Corporate Treasury, Investec Bank

9.30am “Irish Dairy Board – Russia Review”, Speaker: Representative from Irish Dairy Board

9.50am “Russia Agri-food Exports – Insights from a Potato Exporting Company”, Speaker: Joe Keeling, Chairman, Keelings

10.10am Panel Q&A (Sinead Wolfe & Stuart Ramsden, Atradius – Credit Insurance; Mark Rodgers, Cipherion Translations – Language Barriers)

10.30am Wrap-up

Early booking is essential.

Please reserve your place no later than Monday, 19th September 2011 by email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone: 01 6424178. This event is kindly hosted by Investec.