The National Food and Drink Conference and Exhibition, the largest gathering of food industry professionals in Ireland, takes place on the 13th September in the Citywest Convention Centre, Dublin.

The annual event will welcome 3,000 food industry professionals, 200 speakers and 170 exhibitors to discuss the key issues facing the industry.

There will be 22 conferences taking place within the event including Brexit Food Summit, Tourism and Hospitality Summit, Forecourt and Convenience Retail Expo, the Craft Beer and Spirits Expo and more.  

Top speakers this year include:

  • Vincent Carton, CEO, Manor Farm

  • Joe Barrett, Co-Founder, Applegreen

  • Alison Cowzer, Investor, Dragons Den

  • Mella Frewen, Director General, FoodDrinkEurope

  • Simon McKeever, CEO, Irish Exporters Association

  • Brian Lee, Co-Founder of Chopped

The food and drink industry is worth €10bn to the Irish economy and exports produce to over 120 countries. The UK remains the largest destination for Irish food exports accounting for 42% of all food exports from the country. In the context of Brexit, the UK will be a hot topic at this years conference.

Colin Murphy, Organiser, National Food and Drink Conference and Exhibition said “This is an important event for the food industry in Ireland. It’s taking place at a time when there is a significant amount of apprehension ahead of Brexit. The food industry in Ireland alone accounts for 230,000 jobs and contributes €25bn to the economy and Britain is a major part of that success. At the moment it’s not business as usual as businesses on both sides of the border are left in limbo until we know what happens next.” 

“Brexit will be a dominant theme at the conference this year. We’ll be bringing together the largest gathering of food industry professionals including senior executives of Ireland and the UK’s major food companies to outline what they think is the best case and worst case scenarios for the Irish and UK industry post Brexit.” 

Attendees can look forward to samples from ‘The Foods Of Athenry’ family bakery which produces a range of gluten free snacks including cereals, cookie shots, cakes and scones. A bottled mineral water company, AQUA Carpatica, based in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania will also be looking to secure stockists for their new brand alongside upcoming Irish artisan family run businesses like Bluebell Falls, The Chocolate Shop and more.

With the backdrop of Brexit this year there will be a Brexit Food Summit taking place at the event with speakers from Bord Bia, IBEC, Teagasc, Irish Exporters Association and others to discuss the wide ranging impact of the ongoing Brexit negotiation and what a ‘Hard Brexit’ could mean for food producers across Ireland.

The challenges facing the Irish craft beer and spirits sector will also feature at this years conference with the inclusion of the Craft Beer and Spirits (CBS) Expo. With over 50 Whiskey Distillers and 120 Brewers across Ireland, the domestic market has become highly competitive while scaling internationally remains an issue for many companies. The CBS Expo will bring together some of the leading brewers and distillers in Ireland to discuss what happens next in the industry.

The National Food and Drink Conference and Exhibition will also feature the Tourism and Hospitality Summit. With the number of UK tourist numbers on the decline since the announcement of Brexit what will this mean for Food Tourism and does the industry need to adapt in the face of a changing mix of tourists?

Other conferences of interest include: Your Event Live for event organisers, Retail In Ireland, the Forecourt and Convenience Retail Expo, Sustainability in Food, Artisan and Fine Foods Show, Commercial Kitchen Expo, Quality and Safety Expo and the Future Factory Expo.

Irish Pubs Global will be at stand Q3 so please some by and say hello to the team!

You can find out more and register your place at www.fooddrinkevent.com.