Evidence suggests the artisan food sector can have a significant impact on local economies as businesses are typically owner managed and may be closely linked to local farms.
That’s what the new Agriculture, Food, and Marine Minister Michael Creed told Deputy Bernard J Durkan in a written reply to a Dáil question.
Mr Creed said the sector was valued at around €632 million in 2014, with more than 350 producers employing more than 3,000 people.
“Most are owner managed, frequently have a farming basis, and produce diverse products, demonstrating high potential for innovation,” he said.
Mr Creed said with the overall increase in milk production following the abolition of quotas, farmhouse and specialty cheese output could increase to just over 4,500 tonnes per annum, worth around €33m.
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