Fresh Produce

91% Of Agri-Food Companies Rank COVID-19 As Highest Priority Risk, Survey Shows

By Donna Ahern
91% Of Agri-Food Companies Rank COVID-19 As Highest Priority Risk, Survey Shows

Almost 91% of Argi-Food companies across Ireland rank COVID-19 as the highest priority risk facing the sector, a new survey showed.

Launched today, the ‘Bord Bia’s Risk Readiness Radar’ report comprehensively captures the high level risks facing the industry across six key areas: COVID-19, Brexit, challenges to market diversification, sustainability pressures, consumer insights & innovation, and talent management.

According to Bord Bia a total of 128 Irish food, drink and horticulture companies, representing 51% of total exports, took part in the survey, which was conducted over a four week period in March and April this year.

“The Irish food, drink and horticulture industry has had to withstand many shocks over the years. While a disruptive event is always an immense challenge for any business, dealing with the consequences inevitably helps businesses to build resilience and be better prepared for the next event," said Shane Hamill, strategic projects manager, Bord Bia.

"As a result of Brexit preparations, valuable skills in risk management have been learned by the agri-food sector and there is evidence that the industry has been better able to manage the impact of COVID-19 because of the actions it had taken over the past three years," he added.


Export Market

Export market diversification was ranked the second biggest focus area for the industry as a whole, with 71% of respondents actively seeking to expand into new markets in response to Brexit, the research showed.

“Given our island location on the edge of Europe, Irish manufacturers with a growth focus are export dependent. The estimated value of food, drink and horticulture exports from Ireland for 2019 was €13 billion, capping a decade of extraordinary growth where the value of Irish food and drink exports increased by 67%," said  Tara McCarthy, chief executive, Bord Bia.

"This has been achieved through sustained, incremental increases in value and volume across Ireland’s food and drink categories, and across its key export markets.”

© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.

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