Ireland has been positioning as a force in functional and healthy foods. Last year four of Ireland’s biggest healthy ingredients companies – Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia and Kerry - joined with academics to form Food for Health Ireland (FHI), a group that will bring together partners up and down the value chain to develop and market ingredients and functional foods.
Enterprise Ireland, a government organisation aimed at helping businesses to grow, recognises the complex and uncertain regulatory environment surrounding functional foods, especially in Europe since the new health claims regulation came into effect.
While it has proved possible even for some small firms to gain regulatory approval, it says that regulatory and consumer acceptance is only the first step towards gaining a foothold.
But while gaining this acceptance might call for partnerships and outside expertise to be brought in, in areas such as intellectual property, scientific backing, marketing or regulatory know-how, such relationships can be “transformational”.
They “can result in unique industry and academic partnering arrangements and supply agreements often underpinned by innovative vale/risk-sharing and business models,” says Enterprise Ireland.
Enterprise Ireland’s event is intended for regulatory, consumer affairs, product development and research professionals to share their experiences in the functional food sector. It will take place in Cork on 12 March, and follows (but is separate from) the US/Ireland Functional Food Conference 2010 being organised by Teagasc, the USDA and University College Cork.
More details of the Enterprise Ireland event are available at this link.
More details of the Teagasc/USDA/UCC event are available at this link.
The two events require separate registration.