A report, commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and coordinated by Bord Bia, identifies the 15 markets by sector that are likely to present growth opportunities for meat, dairy, prepared consumer foods, beverages, and seafood over the next 5-10 years.
Launching the reports, Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine, Michael Creed said: “Over the last six years, the value of Irish dairy exports has increased by 11%, the value of our beef exports by almost 50%, cereals and cereal preparations by 59%, seafood and seafood exports by 50%, forestry exports doubled from €112million to €226 million and sheepmeat exports increased by 70%.”
The reports show that the total agri-food exports from Ireland exceeded €13 billion last year. While the UK and European markets remain vitally important for Irish food and drink manufacturers, half of this growth came from markets outside of Europe, led by a six-fold increase in exports to China, a doubling to the rest of Asia and North America and a rise of 40% in trade to the Middle East and Africa.
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. Global population growth, along with increased urbanisation and affluence, and the intensifying challenges of climate change, provide the context for this opportunity.
Minister Creed concluded: “Notwithstanding this significant success, we must, in the light of Brexit, intensity our efforts further to diversify those international markets that offer the best potential for growth.”