Over 100 of the country's top food and drink companies are marketing their produce to 250 national and international buyers at Bord Bia's Bloom festival today.
 
The buyers, from Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK retail, foodservice and independent stores, have a combined buying power of over €10 billion.
 
Run by Bord Bia and now in its 11th year, Bloom takes place in the Phoenix Park in Dublin until Monday, June 5. 

Now in its fourth year, the Bord Bia trade event has already helped secure many new routes to market for exhibiting food and drink companies.  

Attending buyers include UK retailers such as Dean and Deluca, Selfridges, Buckley and Beale, Costwold Fayre and Ocado.

Irish-based companies like Aldi, Lidl, Tesco Ireland, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Insomnia, Pallas Foods, Compass Group Ireland, Topaz and Applegreen are also there.
 
Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia's CEO, said that Bloom not only offers an opportunity to showcase the best of the country's horticultural and food industry to the Irish public, but it has also become an established hub for trade. 


Ms McCarthy said that visitors to Bloom spend in excess of €7m at the event, while up to €30m is spent directly with exhibitors after the show.

She said that Bord Bia's annual trade breakfast has become an important commercial date in the Irish food and drink calendar. 

"Irish producers large and small get the potential to secure significant new contracts with some of the UK and Ireland’s leading companies. For visiting retailers and food service buyers, it provides a unique platform to engage directly with suppliers and identify new trends, new products and opportunities to bring to market," she added.