Northern Ireland primary producers and food processors looking for export markets for their products must take a serious look at their competition and how they are attracting consumers if they are to succeed in business. This was the keynote message hammered home by Brid Rodgers, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development during a visit today to one of the biggest food exhibitions in the world at Villepinte on the outskirts of the city of Paris. During her visit to the Northern Ireland Exhibit at the Salon International de L'Alimentation (SIAL) Brid Rodgers, who had been invited earlier to see exhibits from some of the 90 countries at the show, stressed the global nature of food marketing. "I will be visiting all nine of the Northern Ireland companies exhibiting at the show and I am pleased that these companies have the confidence and ability to compete against other companies in the international market place. The agri-food sector needs to sell most of its production outside Northern Ireland and it is vital that companies have the necessary marketing capabilities if they are to succeed. "I am pleased to note the co-operation between DARD and the LMC in sponsoring a Trade Development visit by 14 members of the Ulster Lamb Group who will be assessing their production and quality assurance methods against international competition from a number of lamb producing countries exhibiting at the show. It is important that primary producers appreciate the requirements of the market place and see for themselves how they are being met by others." Later the Minister was guest of honour at a IDB reception for NI companies exhibiting of SIAL. The Minister will spend most of the day at the Exhibition tomorrow and has plans to make a number of courtesy calls on An Board Bia, Food From Britain and the Argentine and Australian beef promotion stands. Meeting have also been arranged with senior representatives of the French Government and Agriculture Department.