BIM 2017 conference

International experts in skills, sustainability, innovation and competitiveness, are among a line-up of speakers for the BIM National Seafood Conference on June 29 in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway.

Winning in a Changing Environment wil be officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, moderated by Gavin Duffy of RTE’s Dragon’s Den.

“This conference will challenge our diverse industry to consider the direction of their business and the overall sector in light of current challenges,” remarked Jim O’Toole, BIM chief exeucitve.

“We are looking forward to a productive conference that will allow us to strengthen our collective position as we continue to adapt to changing circumstances and look to secure the long-term viability of Ireland’s €1 billion seafood industry.”

The conference begins at 11am with a plenary session on innovation. Delegates will hear how Norway is leading the way in seafood innovation from Øvyind Fylling-Jensen, chief executive of Norwegian research agency Nofima, and from Aidan McHugh of Eaton Square who will demonstrate how seafood companies can make innovation work for them.

Ireland’s seafood industry has made significant progress in the area of sustainability across all sectors. Gilles Doignon, communications officer with the European Commission (DG Mare), will demonstrate how communicating about sustainability through the ‘Farming in the EU’ campaign, has transformed public attitudes across the EU.

Andrew Mullins, Bord Bia, will explain how seafood is an integral part of the food portfolio in the Origin Green programme, and how sustainability plans such as BIM’s ‘Responsibly Sourced Standard’, are contributing to progress in this space.

Dr Joanne Fearon, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, will explain how investing in targeted skills and education in the agri-food sector can pay dividends. She will draw on her experience in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Graduate Development Programme which has provided industry specific training and development to moer than 1,800 young researchers to date.

Olivia Slevin, who is assisting BIM, will present on future changes planned to build the sector’s skills and training capability; and Barry Robinson, Deloitte, will focus on how seafood companies can prepare and re-focus business plans faced with competitive challenges including Brexit.

As the seafood sector looks to the future, developments in technology will become increasingly important as Ireland looks to stay ahead of its competitors. Digital communications expert, Wayne Denner will reveal how key technologies can enable seafood companies to access new markets and increase market share.

Before the conference begins, a Brexit discussion will focus on the potential implications for the seafood sector.

Booking and information: Winning in a Changing Environment 

BIM’s National Seafood Conference is being held in association with SeaFest – an annual maritime festival including the Marine Industry Awards (June 29, Radisson Blu Hotel), Our Ocean Wealth business conference (June 30, NUI Galway) and a family festival to include the BIM/Bord Bia Seafood Experience  (June 30 – July 2) at the docks in Galway.