After three days of visits to over 100 Irish farms, factories and food producers around the country, almost 400 international food buyers are in the Convention Centre Dublin for Bord Bia's Marketplace 2015 event. 

The international buyers, and 150 Irish food and drink buyers and foodservice operators, will meet with 185 Irish food and drink companies during 5,093 "speed-dating" style meetings taking place throughout the day. 

The Irish companies range in size and profile from small enterprises to multinationals

As well as a strong representation from UK and European buyers, 106 Asian buyers are attending the event, compared to just 14 in 2012 when Bord Bia last held a Marketplace event. 

38 buyers from the Middle East will also attend, while 24 come from North America, 15 from Africa and 12 from Russia. 

According to Bord Bia, there was a significant shift in the destinations for Irish exports last year with international markets showing renewed growth, reflected in a 16% increase in trade to stand at €3 billion or 29% of the country's total food and drink exports.