By Ray Ryan
The 15 markets that are likely to present growth opportunities for Irish food and drink exports over the next five to 10 years have been analysed.
It follows 75 in-depth studies commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and co-ordinated by Bord Bia.
Over 180 markets were screened using macro-economic and sector-specific criteria weighted and assessed for each category.
The reports include up-to- date information on trends, self-sufficiency, competitor details, price-point data and trading technical issues related each country.
Launching the findings yesterday, Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Michael Creed said agri-food exports from Ireland exceeded €13bn last year.
Although the UK and other European markets remain vitally important, half of this growth came from markets outside Europe.
This was led by a six-fold increase in exports to China, a doubling of business with the rest of Asia and north America and a rise of 40% in trade to the Middle East and Africa.
“Today China is the second biggest market for Irish dairy, while the US absorbs almost 45% of Irish whiskey exports.
“If the growth trends evident between 2009 and 2016 continue, international markets will account for over 40% of Irish food and drinks exports by 2025,” he said.
Bord Bia chief executive Tara McCarthy said the reports provide Irish food and drink manufacturers with substantial data and insight with which to prepare a strategic approach to international export markets.
“In the context of the uncertainty that persists around Brexit, this is, above all, a positive assertion of the long-term possibilities for our industry,” she said.