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Int. Plant Propagators Society World Conference

Depending on your level of interest in horticulture you may have been lead to believe, via the title, that post is of zero interest to you….. But what if I told you that for the first time in the organisations history….

Ireland is hosting the International Plant Propagators World conference AND that this conference will not return to Ireland within the next 30 years?

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Many prestigious plant propagators and growers from all over the globe.  Visitors from New Zealand, Australia, USA, South Africa, UK, Scandanavia and a number of other countries will be converging on Kilkenny from the 15th of September to 18th of September at Lyrath Estate Hotel convention centre.

On Wednesday 16th approximately 100 delegates will visit FitzGerald Nurseries and trials field where the official tree planting ceremony will take place beside our 2000 year old Celtic ring fort where the first farmers in this area would have settled.  Its fitting that this planting takes place adjacent to where the first Celtic agricultural activities occurred in this immediate vicinity. Visits to local nurseries in Kilkenny, Waterford and Tipperary are planned and full schedule of events can be found here. http://www.ipps.org.uk/conference.html

The International Plant Propagators Society was founded in 1951 and is now organised into eight Regions world wide. Each Region is run by its own local committee chaired by its own President, Bernard Brennan is the President of the GB&I region for 2009. Each IPPS region manages its own finances

The IPPS Region of Great Britain and Ireland, includes members not only from the UK and the Republic of Ireland but from most other member states of the European Union as well as many countries in Eastern Europe. In fact more than 20% of the 450-strong membership is based in ‘continental’ Europe.

The Region organises a series of area meetings on an annual basis where leading nurseries, research locations, outstanding gardens and centres of horticultural excellence are visited and ideas and expertise are openly shared. Workshops are offered to help transfer and share current best practice within the plant production industry.

Annual Conference brings together leading experts from the industry who share their well researched and accumulated wisdom with members. This technical expertise and knowledge is shared with the industry at large through the IPPS Proceedings.

See blog for updates  http://fitzgeraldnurseries.blogspot.com/

bord bia invests €1m irish export market

First up a quick peek at the market place.

Here’s the stats:

the irish food market

the irish food market

Ireland’s agri-food sector plays an important role in the Irish economy, accounting for almost 9% of employment and 10% of Irish exports. As much as 65% of manufacturing exports by Irish-owned firms are estimated to consist of food and drink.

The UK is the main destination for Irish food and drink exports, accounting for 45% of the total; 32% go to Continental EU markets with the remaining 23% going to non-EU markets. The Irish food and drink sector has the highest usage of Irish produced inputs across major sectors in the Irish economy with close to three quarters of the sector’s inputs sourced domestically.

Irish food and drink exports fell for the first time in 2008, by 6.5%, to just under €8.2 billion. A further decline is anticipated in 2009 arising from continued sterling pressure, severe difficulties in the global dairy market, and the impact of the economic downturn which is bringing pressure on returns across all sectors. However, there is some prospect for a return to growth in 2010.
It is at this point that I’m a big believer – you dont cull the spending. One increases it.

it has to be worth something...

it has to be worth something...

And this is exactly how they are gonna do so:

A graduate Fellowship Programme aimed at boosting Irish food and drink exports and supporting Irish companies expand their market reach was launched by Bord Bia  [in Dublin today].

25 experienced graduate Fellows will be placed in the international marketplace and will partner with 100 Irish food companies on whose behalf they will undertake 200 key assignments across 33 international markets. The €1 million Marketing Fellowship Programme, will be run in association with the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

On being launched by Minister Brendan Smith TD he commented that:

the programme will play an important role in helping Irish companies to diversify into new markets while seeking to protect existing export business that last year exceeded €8 billion in value

The administration of the programme, for which recruitment is to start immediately, was awarded to the UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business following a tender process.

While the graduates will be based full-time in the marketplace, the programme will also incorporate six academic modules at the Smurfit School and marketing assignments will be rigorously assessed. The graduate Fellows will be awarded a Graduate Diploma in International Marketing Practice on completion after twelve months and will then have the option of completing a Masters degree.

The programme will cover all food industry sectors, from prepared consumer foods to meat, dairy, beverages, seafood and horticulture. The markets covered will include the UK, Continental Europe, Russia, Asia and the United States.

worthwhile...?

worthwhile...?

Aidan Cotter Chief Executive of Bord Bia noted that:

The initiative, in particular the completion of some 200 business development assignments, will provide us with the most comprehensive overview ever of commercial market opportunities and Irish supply capabilities.

Bord Bia will integrate the new Fellowship Programme with a range of other market building initiatives planned by the organisation to assist the food industry broaden its export reach.

A new, targeted trade awareness campaign will focus on the European marketplace and coincide with the industry’s largest ever presence at Anuga, the world’s most important food and beverage trade fair, taking place in Germany this autumn. Some 22 Irish food and drink companies, representing sectors from meat and dairy products to seafood and frozen foods, will exhibit across five exhibition halls at the fair, which takes place in Cologne from 10th to 14th October.

Bord Bia has also decided to bring forward Marketplace 2010, to build on the momentum the Fellowship Programme is expected to create. Marketplace, which will now take place in Dublin next February, will bring upwards of 250 food and drink buyers from UK and mainland Europe to meet with Irish suppliers.

In the meantime, funding for its Foresight4Food programme, designed to support companies bring consumer focused innovations to the market is being expanded. In total, Bord Bia is investing more than €1 million in additional market building initiatives that will run in parallel and be integrated with the Marketing Fellowship Programme.

In January, Bord Bia indicated that the task of “Broadening Export Reach” had become a major strategic priority in light of the challenges the industry was encountering in the marketplace as a result of the global economic downturn and currency volatility and the need to seek out new opportunities.

every little helps....?

every little helps....?

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