Food Harvest 2020 aims to boost food exports by 40%
The Food Harvest 2020 report contains 209 recommendations, to boost the country's food exports by more than 40% over the next ten years
13 August 2010
An ambitious plan to raise food and beverage exports by more than 40% over the next ten years has been launched.
The Food Harvest 2020 report – compiled by a committee of 30 key figures from the agri-food industry – contains 209 recommendations, including that milk output should grow by 50% and beef output by 20% during the next decade.
The report also proposes creating an umbrella brand for Irish food and drink, to capitalise on Ireland’s reputation as ‘The Food Island’.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen said Food Harvest 2020 would deliver “the prospect of 3,500 to 4,000 jobs being created by 2020.”
The report also highlights that the agri-food and fisheries sector currently employs more than 150,000 people and accounts for 60% of manufacturing exports by indigenous firms, or €7 billion. A target of increasing this export value to an impressive €12 billion has been set for 2020.
Access to credit was signposted as a key issue for the food industry in achieving these goals. It was therefore recommended provision of credit to producers be monitored to ensure viable business growth was not inhibited through lack of credit.
The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) president John Bryan was a member of the committee which drew up the report. He welcomed the publication of Food Harvest 2020, and pledged the IFA’s support. He added its targets were achievable if the appropriate policy and competitive economic environment was created by Government.