Article appeared in issue 4, 2020

Mission to succeed

Challenging times call for clever thinking and this November, Bord Bia launches the Virtual Dairy Trade Mission to South East Asia

In November, Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) embarks on a virtual trade mission to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to advance market opportunities for Irish exporters. This virtual visit will showcase our industry to 250 buyers with combined import demand for more than 2.6 million tonnes of dairy ingredients per annum, and serving a total population of 553 million people.

These markets have been identified as priorities in the Bord Bia Dairy Marketing Strategy 2019-2021, and the event will deliver new leads for the Irish client companies participating. High-potential leads will be targeted for follow-up engagement as part of the 2021 Gathering Moments Bord Bia inward buyer event.

Participating Irish companies will partake in an expert briefing prior to the virtual mission to ensure that they are well-informed of the regional and market-specific trade and consumer dynamics ahead of engaging with potential customers.



Although this is an online event, the ambition is that it will serve to address the classic trade-mission objectives of building understanding, building reputation, and building business. There will be a keen emphasis on follow-up, something we are better equipped to deliver on in 2020, given additional resources in South East Asia.


Building understanding

An expert pre-mission briefing will take place on November 10 for participating Irish client companies. Bord Bia Singapore, in collaboration with The Thinking House and StoneX will disseminate up-to-date trade and consumer insight. This session will also be addressed by Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, and is seen as the kick-off event of the trade mission. It will be held virtually with an opportunity for clients to have Q&As with presenters.


Building reputation

Buyer recruitment for the event will be in collaboration with embassies and missions in the region. Three of five of the target markets are previous trade-mission destinations (Vietnam in 2016; Indonesia and Malaysia in 2018) and buyers or media who took part in these missions will be re-engaged. The events will be promoted to targeted buyers on LinkedIn to attract additional attendees and raise awareness. The seminar will serve to position Irish dairy as safe, sustainable, innovative and on a par or preferable to all European and international peers. Close follow-ups with in-market buyers will take place post-event.


Building business

Developing business is the key objective of the mission and will be the main focus of the cornerstone seminars. Currently, it is estimated that at least 50 qualified buyers will attend each event. They will advise client companies to involve more than one sales executive to allow for effective engagement at the B2B introductory meetings which will run immediately following each seminar. The seminar and the meetings will be hosted on specialist seminar platform, B2Matching, and follow up will be available on the platform for a further two weeks afterwards, should demand for meetings outstrip availability of sales executives.

Each seminar will follow a similar 90-minute format. It will be opened by the Irish Ambassador to the country in question followed by a ministerial address; there will be a Bord Bia Irish dairy industry introduction and a global trade update delivered by respected trade specialists, StoneX. A Bord Bia representative will act as MC and Bord Bia Singapore will give the final contribution to ensure that there is clear ownership.


Participating companies





CP Ingredients




Glenstal Foods

Kerry Group

Lakeland Dairies

North Cork Creameries


Tipperary Co-Operative