Irish food export industry enjoys eighth successive year of growth

Irish food, drink and horticulture exports were worth over €13bn to the Irish economy last year.

The figures represent an increase of 13% on 2016 and marks the eighth successive year of growth.

Bord Bia's annual report shows beef, dairy and prepared foods all saw significant increases in exports.

Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, explained why there is been such an improvement.

"We've had an increase in volume, so we've produced more product," she said.

"The global market has been very, very strong, and as well as that there's been some price inflation in the market as well.

"Key to the growth of our industry is that it's an export-orientated industry, and we've had growth in every single part of the market.

"Dairy has been a huge element of that, and it's probably has been the driving force this year, contributing to about 45% of that growth."

Speaking at the launch of the report, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed said: "Last year marked the 8th successive year of growth for total Irish agri-food exports, to reach a record of €13.5bn.

"Bord Bia’s report provides valuable insights into the sectors and markets behind the very welcome 13 percent increase in the value of food and drinks exports to €12.6bn.

"Industry, in line with my Department’s market prioritisation strategy, is continuing to diversify, with exports to international markets reaching €4bn for the first time.

"Trade with the UK, which remains our most valuable market, has grown in overall terms, despite the difficulty presented by Brexit and a weaker sterling.”

“I am pleased that the significant additional resources provided by my Department to Bord Bia as a key part of our Brexit response has helped to support Irish food and drink company’s export performance in 2017, as evidenced by these results, and will continue to do so into the future.”

- Digital desk

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