Expenditures and Activities of
European Union (EU) Member Countries
The Irish Food Board and producer organizations carry out Irish market promotion activities. Government spending on agricultural export promotion, including money from EU regional support funds and producer levies, totaled $26.3 million in 1998.
Governmental Promotion Organizations
In late 1994, the Government of Ireland (GOI) created the Irish Food Board, An Bord Bia, since renamed Bord Bia (BB). The organization promotes the Irish food industry both in Ireland and overseas. BB assumed the responsibilities of the Irish Meat and Livestock Board (CBF); the overseas promotion and market development functions of the Horticultural Board, An Bord Glas (ABG); and the food export portfolio of the Irish Trade Board (ABT). BB eventually will assume the marketing functions of the Fisheries Promotions Board (BIM). BB is developing its export marketing strategies and is beginning to cover other aspects of the food industry such as niche markets, speciality, and convenience foods. Since a high proportion of BB’s income comes from levies from meat producers, promotion of meat exports still dominates its agenda.
BB’s total budget in 1998 was $26.3 million. The funding came from a number of sources, including $9.3 million from the GOI, $7.7 million from the EU, and $6.2 million from producer levies.
When BB assumed the responsibilities of the Meat and Livestock Board, it was also granted the statutory powers to continue to collect producer levies, which are based on the number of animals slaughtered or exported live from Ireland.
BB is based in Dublin, with offices located in London, Dusseldorf, Paris, Milan, Madrid, and Moscow. The overseas offices primarily promote Irish meat exports. However, offices are increasing support to individual export firms, and developing export initiatives for other food producers.
BB's market development activities include participation at the main EU-based trade shows, and in-country retail promotions, such as supermarket tastings. BB also hosts trade missions to Ireland from all markets. These missions have been instrumental in securing trade with North African and Middle Eastern countries, in particular.
BB provides a range of services, including market intelligence, development of buyer/supplier links, quality improvement programs, and promotional initiatives. Financial assistance is made available to food companies, covering up to 50 percent of specified marketing improvement initiatives. Irish embassies and diplomatic missions also actively promote Ireland as a place where good, quality food is produced.
The Irish Horticultural Board’s (ABG) primary function is to increase production and exports. While it was involved in the promotion of exports prior to the arrival of BB, much of its work seems to have been in market research, rather than trade promotion.
In 1998, ABG received government grants of $2.3 million. Most of these funds are spent on general activities, such as education and producer workshops, and not directly on export promotion.
The Irish Fisheries Board (BIM) is a State agency with responsibility for the overall development of the Irish fishery industry. Its market development section aims to develop and expand both the domestic and export markets for Irish fish and fish products. It is not directly involved in export sales, but it can be involved with individual exporters from initial contact through to final sales. BIM staff often attends trade shows, mainly in the EU, jointly with exporting firms. BIM's overall grant from the government was $14.3 million in 1998. About $428,000 is annually used in export market development. This includes expenditure for market research as well as for trade show participation.
Industry Promotion Activities
Until 1972, the Irish Dairy Board (IDB) was fully owned by the Government if Ireland. Following Ireland's accession into the European Economic Community (now the European Union), the IDB became a cooperative, whose members consisted of Irish dairy cooperatives. The IDB remains a cooperative, and is self-funding.
Early on, the IDB was responsible for most Irish dairy product exports. Recently, some member cooperatives have opted to export their own products; the IDB now claims to be responsible for the export of about 60 percent of Irish milk production in the various product formats.
The IDB finances operations from its export sales profits, and from a levy based on the members milk throughput. The GOI is not involved in setting, collecting or spending these levies. As a cooperative involved in exporting, the IDB receives a number of tax breaks.
The IDB promotes its products, which retail under the "Kerrygold" brand name, in several ways. These include tastings, competitions, in-country TV advertising, and by exhibiting at major trade shows worldwide, often under the umbrella of BB.
The IDB is the largest exporter of Irish dairy products, and owns a number of subsidiary companies in Europe and the United States. The turnover of the group was $2.0 billion in 1998.
The Cereals Association of Ireland (CAI) represents both cereal growers and the grain trade in Ireland. It is self-funding and non-profit making.
The Irish Forestry Board (IFB) is a semi-state agency that manages state forests and related commercial activities. It aids lumber exporters with market research.
Details on export promotion expenditures are not available for either the CAI or the IFB.