Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 11 July 2013
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Bord Iascaigh Mhara Annual Report 2011: Discussion
Mr. Donal Buckley:
The technology company is based in Sligo and the process and marketing company is an Irish food company based in Ireland. It has been testing products such as nuggets and fish burgers with us. It is an all indigenous package.
We spoke about markets and what we are trying to do. The European market is sluggish and we all know the reasons for that. The Spanish market in particular is difficult. Traditionally, the Spanish market was a very good market for Irish shellfish, lobsters, crab and prawns. Now our strategy is to develop our Chinese market. Last year, we assisted four big companies to create a joint venture to take their product into the Chinese market. We created a joint venture because scale is essential because it is so costly to get into the market. One of these companies was a producer of lobster and crab and we linked it up with a processor. They and two others formed a joint venture hub, Ocean Jade. This is an interesting development because it takes us to a brand new market, taking the pressure off the need for our Spanish market. Spain will now have to lift prices to meet the cost of our product if it wants it. In China there is a super-wealthy new middle class and there is a great appetite for Irish seafood. This is the broad base of our strategy.