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Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board – is bringing the best of Irish seafood to Vietnam this month through a promotion targeted at the leading Vietnamese shellfish importers, distributors, wholesalers and chefs. Bord Bia hosted a trade information and shellfish tasting event in ‘Le Meridien’ Hotel in Saigon last week.

This event is targeted at raising awareness about Irish seafood within the high end foodservice channel in Vietnam and saw 70 key decision makers attend where they had the opportunity to learn about the range of species available from Irish exporters; the USP’s of seafood from Ireland; the sustainability credentials of our key species and also about Origin Green; Ireland’s National Sustainability Programme, which is run by Bord Bia.

To support this Bord Bia promotion, the Irish Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr. John Mc Cullagh, opened this event, demonstrating Ireland’s commitment to developing strong trade links with Vietnam.  Well known Vietnamese celebrity chef Ngô Thanh Hòa, winner of the first Master Chef Vietnam competition and owner of renowned ‘Ox Restaurant’ in the heart of Saigon cooked up a range of recipes using a variety of Irish shellfish and served them to the attendees at the event.  The versatility, quality and range of species such as Irish langoustines, oysters, whelks, crab and lobster were showcased, encouraging the buyers and chefs in attendance to consider these products for their own menus.  To drive awareness at consumer level about seafood from Ireland, a number of well known social media influencers and traditional media attended.

Ireland exports more than €600m worth of seafood to over 70 countries annually and Vietnam is growing in importance among them. Between 2017 and 2019 Irish seafood exports to Vietnam increased by more than 60% in value terms. This Vietnamese promotion, is a key element in Bord Bia’s trade development programme, focused on identifying new market opportunities for the Irish seafood sector.

“Ireland has a reputation as an international leader in sustainable production because responsible stewardship and environmental protection are core principles guiding the development of our wild fisheries and the quality seafood we export,” said Bord Bia’s Seafood Manager, Karen Devereux.

“When Vietnamese customers source seafood from Ireland they are sourcing seafood from companies working under the Origin Green sustainability programme who are committed to reducing their environmental impact, serving their local communities more effectively and protecting the extraordinarily rich natural resources that our country enjoys”.

Bord Bia is playing a key role in increasing awareness of what Ireland’s seafood wealth can offer Vietnamese consumers. Bord Bia has recently established a market presence in Vietnam and from here, the message of responsibly sourced seafood from Ireland is one that will increasingly resonate.

Looking ahead to this promotion and further initiatives planned for the next 6 months in this market, Karen Devereux added:

In recognition of the potential for growth in Vietnam, Bord Bia continues to invest in ‘feet on the street’ resources to increase Ireland’s business presence in Vietnam and to support a range of seafood categories.”