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£600,000 Boost For Agricultural Marketing 24 December 2007

Government is putting its money where its mouth is by pledging £600,000 to support the agricultural industry’s marketing efforts towards establishing a long-term and sustainable future.

Phil Gawne MHK, Minister for Agriculture, explained: ‘DAFF’s approach to the industry has radically changed. We recognise that for the industry to have a long-term and vibrant future it must become more market focused and ensure that what it produces meets the needs of it customers. These initiatives will support their efforts to innovate their products and sell them into new markets.’

This funding is in addition to the recently established £5 million Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) for the industry to allow it to restructure and position itself to get the best possible returns, either by gaining better returns from the market place or by implementing efficiencies at industry and individual business levels.

The initiatives to benefit from the latest funding include:

Teamwork to improve off-Island marketing

A three-year funding package, worth almost £290,000, to support off-Island marketing of food via Pure Produce of the Isle of Man, has been established by the main food producers and exporters on the Island. They will seek to raise the image and awareness of Manx products in order to increase sales of Manx products off the Island. The team recently attended the BBC Good Food Show at Birmingham, where they were joined by the ‘Hairy Bikers’, who made great efforts to continue to endorse the high quality Manx products.

Dedicated sales and marketing staff at Isle of Man Meats

A three-year support package, worth more than £105,000, will support the employment of a Marketing and Sales Manager at Isle of Man Meats. The new man, Vance King, aims to help the team continue their efforts to improve the company’s image and sales both on- and off-Island.

Isle of Man Meat strategic marketing project

£30,000 of support for a project between Isle of Man Meats, the Meat and Livestock Commission (a UK-based meat market specialist) and Promar (an international food sector specialist) which will review the opportunities faced by Isle of Man Meat Company. The project will explore how they can work with producers to better tailor their products to meet specific markets and improve efficiency and profitability. In the light of the project team’s report, expected early in the New Year, DAFF is also expecting to agree a marketing strategy for the business and inject a considerable further amount of funding to initiate the strategy.

Creamery – growing worldwide cheese exports

Almost £170,000 will go towards supporting Isle of Man Creameries to further develop worldwide sales of their top quality Mature Cheddar products. They are aiming to boost sales by 500 tonnes over the next three years and follows market research already undertaken to identify key potential markets.

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