Bord Bia has today launched its Marketplace International 2018 event which is targeting €40m of new business wins. 

Marketplace International is a global food buyers event which aims to drive new business for the country's agri-food industry. 

More than 550 food buyers, from 50 countries around the world, will participate in the week-long trade development event, the largest of its kind ever to take place in Ireland. 

Representatives from Australia, Algeria, Bahrain, China, Indonesia, UAE, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa will attend the week long event.

Bord Bia also noted that interest from UK buyers has remained strong, with close to 50 in attendance. 

The registered buyers represent every sector of the industry including for dairy, beef, lamb, pigmeat, alcohol, seafood, prepared foods, grocery, bakery, confectionary and snacks and specialty foods.

From today, 300 of the buyers will take part in 28 different three-day group itineraries organised and hosted by Bord Bia. 

This will allow buyers to see Irish farms, factories, retail stores and manufacturing facilities and will showcase the very best of the Irish food and drink industry.

Bord Bia's CEO Tara McCarthy said the event is an invaluable opportunity for Irish food and drink companies to meet with a large number of international buyers face to face. 

"It is our prime platform for showing international buyers first-hand what makes our products world-class. Initiatives such as Marketplace have enabled the sustained growth of Irish food and drink exports for the past eight years, culminating in a record value of €12.6 billion in 2017," Tara McCarthy said.