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The Covid-19 global crisis presents unprecedented challenges to the Irish food and drinks industry, both in the immediate and longer term. To address these specific challenges and assist businesses during this difficult economic period, Bord Bia is offering a suite of bespoke supports that are informed by our extensive industry knowledge and global insight. As Ireland and the world moves through the Covid-19 crisis, all at different points of the pandemic curve, new obstacles will emerge, as will new opportunities and ambitions. Bord Bia will equip members with the required resources to both overcome these challenges, and compete in new and evolving economic circumstances. 

This suite of resources will be multi-disciplinary, ranging from practical supports and training, to financial and promotional assistance.  Some of these supports will be offered within existing Bord Bia programmes, such as Origin Green and the Quality Assurance Schemes. While other resources will be bespoke and specialized services aimed at addressing the specific issues presented by Covid-19, such as Covid Response Grants and tailored market intelligence reports and training that are sector specific.

These targeted supports will include:

The need, nature and type of supports that are required by the food and drink industry will vary over the coming months. With this in mind. Bord Bia is segmenting supports into three categories; immediate supports; the coming three month period and the rest of 2020.

Immediate Supports

Business Continuity for Small Businesses: Bord Bia will make every effort to address the immediate industry challenges of Covid-19 and equip the food and drinks sector to navigate the economic impact.  To do this, we must focus on learning quickly from this crisis and adequately equipping our clients to adapt for now and evolve for the future. Bord Bia has partnered with BDO to deliver this Business Continuity Service for small businesses that are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of Covid-19. This service will provide guidance on accessing the following financial supports:

1) Working Capital Management

2) Cost Reduction

3) Cash Flow Forecasting

4) Insurance products

5) Plan Initiation

Other immediate supports also include the introduction of the Covid 19 Response Marketing Support Package. 

Bord Bia will also engage with key stakeholders, sharing valuable insights and actions.  As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, we engaged with members across our Quality Assurance schemes addressing their concerns and postponing audits. As the situation developed, on 18 March all audits were postponed, for the health and welfare of our members and the safety of their farm and business operations.  As part of our Covid-19 response plan, the Quality Assurance team is currently putting contingency plans in place in the event that normal auditing cannot resume beyond the postponement period.

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Next three months:

We will be working with clients to offer marketing grant support and assisting them in maintaining buyer engagement activities.  This is particularly important in regions starting to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

We are also offering bespoke business mentoring, supply chain management and business planning services to assist all of our clients prepare for trading in post COVID-19 international markets.

Rest of 2020:

Key to navigating change is staying agile and relevant.  Bord Bia will be reviewing all of our supports on an ongoing basis to ensure they are evolving as the needs of our clients evolve. 

Throughout this year, each support service will be clearly defined by Bord Bia, outlining qualifying criteria and timelines associated with completion and frequency of distribution. For the remainder of 2020, Bord Bia is fully focused on equipping companies across the food, drinks and horticulture sectors with the resources and skills to address specific areas of concern relating to Covid-19 and its aftermath.

Further supports available will include;

COVID-19 concerns

Support Area

  Business Continuity

Covid Response Marketing Support Package 

Bord Bia Guide on available supports

  Logistics and border interruptions

Supply Chain Webinar, including voice of the customer (Webinars)

  Channel disruption

E-commerce Capability and Digital Marketing (Webinars)

  Promotional Support

Ireland Market (TV & Social), Overseas support planning

  Customer Liaison

Irish retailer discussions re client pressure, listings etc, prioritising overseas customers

  Buyer Engagement

Lead Generation/Buyer Engagement (Virtual Supplier Pitches etc.)

  Informing clients & stakeholders

Market & consumer developments (FoodAlert, Podcast etc.)

  Business continuity for primary producers

Lean Initiatives, Market Intelligence, QA Protocols