IFEX 2024 opens doors with sustainability high on the agenda

IFEX 2024 opens doors with sustainability high on the agenda
IFEX 2024 is opening its doors next week with sustainability high on the agenda. Pictured at the launch are (from left) Colin Neill, CEO, Hospitality Ulster, Toby Wand, Managing Director, 365 Events, Emma McIlveen, Sean Owens, IFEX Salon Culinaire Director and Glyn Roberts, CEO, Retail NI.

Opening its doors on Tuesday 5th March IFEX, Northern Ireland’s largest food, drink, retail and hospitality event has revealed that over 60% of businesses in the sector have implemented sustainable practices within the last two years.

Home to some of the country’s biggest food companies, manufacturers, distributors and artisan producers, the event, taking place at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, runs until Thursday 7th March, and up to 7,000 industry professionals are expected to attend over the three days.

These statistics were revealed following a recent visitor survey which also showed that 25% of businesses said that waste reduction and recycling was a key factor in their sustainability strategy, while 21% of businesses claim to have introduced sustainable packaging and 17% have invested in energy-efficient equipment.

Additionally, the survey also identified that 16% of the surveyed hospitality and foodservice businesses source local products and almost 10% have installed renewable energy sources including solar panels.


Welcoming the results of the survey, Toby Wand, Managing Director of 365 Events, organisers of IFEX, said: “The Northern Irish foodservice and hospitality industry is a global leader and we’re delighted to see so many taking the necessary steps to become more sustainable.

“In this industry, we have a collective responsibility to do all we can to ensure that we can protect the environment, which will in turn, help to secure the sector’s future growth.

“There is still work to do however, trade shows like IFEX can go a long way to introducing new products and innovative technologies that can make a big difference to the way a business approaches its sustainability practices.”

IFEX 2024 is returning with industry support from Hospitality Ulster, the Federation of Small Business (FSBNI), Retail NI, NI Hotels Federation, the Guild of Fine Food, Chef Network, Restaurants Association of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Takeaway Association. The exhibition will play host to a range of events including the Masters Arena, IFEX Coffee Festival, Edible Art and the Salon Culinaire that will see the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Northern Ireland Chef of the Year named, alongside industry insights from a number of experts.

For more information, or to register for free, visit www.ifexexhibition.co.uk