The value of Irish food, drink and horticulture exports increased by 13% in 2017, reaching €12.6 billion for the first time ever.
According to the report, last year’s export performance was driven by a surge in dairy exports to over €4 billion (+19%), now one third of all food and drink exports, as well as continued buoyant sales of Irish beef.
Notable growth was also recorded for prepared foods (+17% to €2.2bn) and beverages (+8% to €1.5bn).
Meanwhile, shipments of Irish food and drink to international markets grew by 17% to exceed €4 billion for the first time. Elsewhere, exports to China grew by 5% for the year to €700 million.
Speaking at the launch of Bord Bia’s Export Performance and Prospects 2017-2018 report, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Michael Creed said:
“Last year marked the 8th successive year of growth for total Irish agri-food exports, to reach a record of €13.5 billion. Bord Bia’s report provides valuable insights into the sectors and markets behind the very welcome 13% increase in the value of food and drinks exports to €12.6 billion.”
He added that the industry “is continuing to diversify, with exports to international markets reaching €4 billion 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.”
Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, commented: “In terms of yearly growth rates, the dairy sector grew by almost 20% to reach €4.02 billion , confirming its position as the number one exporting sector.”
Despite the difficulties posed by Brexit, Tara McCarthy remains optimistic about the industry’s prospects for the year ahead, saying:
“While Brexit remains the great unknown, we still expect 2018 to be another year of growth, albeit at lower levels. Our key export categories, dairy and beef, remain stable with further volume growth anticipated. This coupled with the significant opportunities evident in beverages, in particular Irish whiskey, provide further reasoning for the positive outlook.”
For more information, visit www.bordbia.ie.