Belfast Telegraph

Food industry hungry for success

By David Elliot

Northern Ireland's food and drink industry showed it hasn't lost its confidence at an industry conference in Belfast yesterday.

The sector will be able to deliver more than half the new job targets set out in the executive's Programme for Government providing producers, suppliers and government work together, delegates heard at the inaugural Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) 'Appetite for Growth' conference.

Speaking from the event in the King's Hall, NIFDA executive director Michael Bell said it is essential to develop an action plan which addresses the issues outlined in NIFDA's 'Appetite for Growth' report, which was launched at the event.

"In order for Northern Ireland's food and drink industry to increase output by 40% to £5.2bn by 2020 and create thousands of new jobs, it is imperative there is joined up thinking in the supply chain and it is of great importance that the agreed Programme for Government has made the Agri-Food Sector priority one," he said.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster added that food producers need to look to export their products overseas.