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Irish board launches €1 Million spirits campaign in Nigeria



Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board in charge of promoting Irish food and drinks, has officially launched its Spirit of Ireland drinks campaign in Nigeria as part of the Irish government’s 2nd trade mission to West Africa.

The Trade Mission was organized to leverage the success of Irish food and drink exports to West Africa, of which Nigeria accounts for 36% of Irish dairy, seafood, and drinks.

The 2-day Trade Mission in Lagos, sees the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, engage in a series of high-level meetings with the Ministry for Agriculture and Food Security, the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme and a roundtable discussion with the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation.

The visit will also see the Minister and Jim O’Toole, the CEO of Bord Bia, engage in a series of commercial meetings and trade engagements aimed at strengthening Ireland’s food market position and business ties in Nigeria.

As part of the trade mission in Nigeria, Bord Bia also launched the Spirit of Ireland campaign, a unique training experience delivered by seasoned drinks experts, to tell the story of Irish spirits.

The experience tells the history, the renaissance and the future of Irish spirits and provides you with a unique opportunity to hear from some industry innovators across all categories including Irish whiskey, which is the fastest-growing spirits category in the world.

At the first African launch of the Spirit of Ireland campaign in Lagos, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., said: “Given the renaissance Irish spirits is having globally and its growth trajectory in West Africa, launching Spirit of Ireland in Nigeria was the next obvious choice. The programme has been unveiled in seven global markets to date and today’s launch demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to grow the Irish spirits category in the Nigerian market.”

Bord Bia hosted over 15 Irish spirits companies in Lagos, including Jameson, Grace O’Malley, Teeling, Outcast, and The Shed. The CEO of Bord Bia, Jim O’Toole highlighted, “Bord Bia has invested €1 million over the last four years in the Spirit of Ireland and Nigeria is a key export market for Irish drinks in Africa valued at €9 million.

“Exports of Irish spirits to Nigeria have grown by 200% in the last five years so this programme is being launched at a time when Ireland is front of mind in Nigeria for its whiskey, gin, poitin, and cream liqueur.

“Through Spirit of Ireland, Bord Bia has developed a dynamic training experience to tell the story of Irish spirits and we are confident that this campaign will positively influence business leads and commercial success for Irish drinks companies in Lagos.”

Irish spirits are now exported to over 130 countries worldwide. Whiskey is the predominant Irish export to Nigeria, accounting for 80% of exports.

Bord Bia is an Irish state agency with the aim of promoting sales of Irish food, drink and horticulture both in Ireland and abroad. Ireland exports 90% of its food and drink, and last year exports amounted to €16.9 billion (euro).

Bord Bia works for small producers by promoting and certifying farmers’ markets, and for bigger producers by offering international marketing services.