The value of Irish food and drink exports grew by an estimated 3% in 2015, exceeding €10.8 billion for the first time, according to Bord Bia’s Export Performance and Prospects Report 2015/2016.
2015 was the Irish food and drink sector’s sixth consecutive year of export growth, with increased output in key sectors, favourable exchange rates and better returns for beef, seafood and beverages all helping to offset weakening global dairy prices.
Beverages saw the most significant growth of 10%, with the category seeing particular gains from Irish whiskey, which grew by 18%. Irish beef exports grew by 6%, while seafood grew by 4%.
Dairy exports also grew by 4% despite a difficult international market, buoyed by the strong performance of specialist nutrition powders, which grew by 25% overall and 40% in China alone.
Presenting the report, Bord Bia Chief Executive Aidan Cotter observed, "Irish food exporters registered record growth, increasing exports by some €355 million in a period when global food commodity prices declined by approximately 19%."
He added that, "This year will present further opportunities for growth in most sectors notwithstanding challenges from continued global dairy price pressures through the early months of 2016."
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney commented, "Irish producers and companies have yet again demonstrated in 2015 their ambition, innovativeness and ability to meet buyer and consumer needs in highly competitive and complex trading environments."
Bord Bia has also published its new Statement of Strategy for 2016 to 2018, titled, Making a World of Difference. It sets out the key factors that will guide the agency’s activities in the period ahead, and features a renewed focus on routes to market and the importance of building its international presence.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.