Irish food and drink exports fell by 9% in May, compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office.
In response to the trade challenges ahead, Bord Bia said that it is delivering a comprehensive suite of newly-designed supports to Ireland’s food, drink and horticulture producers to assist them mitigate against the ongoing trade impacts of COVID-19 and Brexit.
“Coming off the back of a decade of record food and drink export growth to €13 billion last year, the recent export figures highlight the real impact COVID-19 has had on international trade with year-to-date food and drink exports down by €126 million," highlighted Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia.
"The figures bring into sharp focus the profound need for the sustained and targeted supports the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Bord Bia has continued to provide to the agri-food sector, as the industry deals with the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19 and Brexit," she added.
Dairy and Meat
Dairy and meat are the two key pillars of Ireland’s international food and drink exports, accounting for almost two thirds of the sectors’ exports annually.
According to Bord Bia, in the first five months of the year, strong value growth in dairy has offset declines in other categories accounting for €2.05 billion of exports, representing a year on year increase of €135 million.
The UK is the only region where dairy exports declined, largely due to lower cheese exports, while strong dairy growth was been achieved in the EU, Asia and North America, the group said.
‘Minister Led Virtual Trade Mission’
The first ever ‘Minister Led Virtual Trade Mission’ for Ireland’s food and drink industry will take place in the autumn targeting 150 trade buyers across Vietnam, South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Additional virtual trade engagements are planned by Bord Bia, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, to target key customers across China, Japan, North America, Middle East, Asia and Europe throughout September, October and November, the group said.
McCarthy said: “In these challenging times for the food and drink export industry, it is more important than ever to maintain and grow our global connections in the export sector. Working alongside the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, we are resolute in giving the industry every chance it needs to stay open for international business."
"Although there are significant restrictions on international travel and events, Bord Bia has continued to develop agile and proactive responses to these issues," she added.
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