NIGERIA – The Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, responsible for promoting Irish food and drinks, has officially introduced its US$1.06M ‘Spirit of Ireland’ drinks campaign in Nigeria strengthening its position in the Nigerian food and beverage market.

This initiative seeks to build upon the success of Irish food and drink exports to West Africa, where Nigeria continues to play a pivotal role in Ireland’s export landscape, serving as a vital market for Irish dairy, seafood, and beverage products.

During the Trade Mission in Lagos, Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, participated in a series of high-level meetings with Nigeria’s Ministry for Agriculture and Food Security, the United Nations World Food Programme and UN Food and Agricultural Organisation.

The visit facilitated commercial meetings and trade engagements involving McConalogue and Jim O’Toole, the Chief Executive Officer of Bord Bia, aiming at strengthening Ireland’s position in the Nigerian food market and enhancing business ties.

“Given the renaissance Irish spirits are experiencing globally and its growth trend in West Africa, launching the ‘Spirit of Ireland’ in Nigeria marks the next logical step,” Minister Charlie McConalogue stated.

“The program has been introduced in seven global markets thus far, and today’s launch demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to growing the Irish spirits category in the Nigerian market.”

Jim O’Toole, the CEO of Bord Bia, highlighted that Bord Bia has invested US$1.06 million over the last four years in the ‘Spirit of Ireland,’ and Nigeria is a crucial export market for Irish drinks in Africa, valued at US$9.54 million.

Recent data reveals that Nigeria accounts for a substantial 36% of Ireland’s total exports in these sectors, underlining the significance of this West African nation to Irish businesses.

In a recent development this year, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS), underscored the importance of fostering a more robust collaboration with the Irish Government within the agricultural sector.

The primary objective of this initiative is to fortify food and nutrition security efforts in both countries.

This strategic partnership was designed to harness the capabilities of Nigeria and Ireland to bolster the production of vital agricultural commodities, including but not limited to milk, wheat, and beef.

By pooling resources, knowledge, and expertise, the two nations aim to enhance agricultural productivity and contribute to food security, not only within their borders but also on a global scale.

Ireland’s wealth of expertise in key areas such as milk, wheat, and beef production was seen to play a pivotal role in assisting Nigeria in achieving its aspirations for improved food and nutrition security.

As these nations join forces, they hold the promise of not only meeting domestic demands but also addressing broader food security challenges, making this collaboration a sign of agricultural advancement.

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