AGRI-FOOD and drink exports are set to increase by 3% during 2011, with some sectors well ahead of target, according to the Annual Review & Outlook for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 2010/2011.
In unveiling the industry barometer yesterday, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney said 2010 had been a very positive year for the Irish agri-food sector, following two difficult years.
“Export figures show that the sector exported produce worth €7.8 billion, an increase of about 11% on 2009,” said Mr Coveney. “The cereals sector had a particularly good year with output value of over €200m, an increase of over 88% on the previous year, while the dairy sector increased its exports by 17%. Aggregate farm income also increased, by 31.5%.
“This is all good news for the agri-food sector but also for the Irish economy as a whole.”
Agri-food is one of Ireland’s most important indigenous manufacturing sectors, accounting for employing 150,000 people.
It is the primary outlet for the produce and output of family farms and includes approximately 600 food and drinks firms throughout the country that export to some 140 markets worldwide.
Furthermore, the industry accounts for 61% of total manufacturing’s consumption of Irish raw materials.
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