Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has paid tribute to the dairy sector, which saw its exports grow by 17% in 2011, as well as the recent Bord Bia Marketplace International event at Dublin’s Convention Centre, in the annual review and outlook for his Department. “2011 was a very good year for the Irish agri-food sector,” said the Minister in his introduction to the report.
“The value of Irish food and drink exports increased by 12% in 2011 to reach €8.85 billion. In fact, exports in 2011 are 25% ahead of the level recorded in 2009.” The Minister acknowledged the “hard work” being undertaken to achieving these results, praising Bord Bia’s recent Marketplace International event, as well as the efforts being made by Irish businesses seeking to gain a foothold in China.
The Irish agri-food sector provides employment for approximately 140,000 people, or 7.7% of the total workforce, the report noted.