Irish food and drink exports increased by 11%
Irish food exports fared extremely well in 2010 and Bord Bia says we need to maintain the current momentum for further growth in 2011
18 January 2011
Irish food and drink export sales expanded by 11% to reach €7.9 billion in 2010, according to Bord Bia.
Dairy exports increased by €300 million, meat and livestock increased by €200 million while beverage and prepared foods grew €130 million and €100 million respectively.
In fact all food categories recorded increases.
The overall increase, amounting to just over €800 million, was said to be due to a more stable consumer environment, reduced exchange rate pressures, and improved relative competitiveness. It was also boosted by rising global prices for most agricultural commodities.
According to Dan Browne, chairman of Bord Bia: “The strength of the industry’s export performance is all the more commendable for the fact that it has been achieved in what remains a highly competitive marketing environment. All major categories recorded increases, led by dairy, which jumped by more than 17%.”
The expansion in food and drink exports outpaced the increase in total merchandise exports and is estimated to have accounted for almost one-third of total growth during the first nine months of 2010.
“The success of the industry in growing its penetration of Continental EU markets is also to be welcomed”, said Mr Browne, “with exports to the mainly eurozone markets increasing by 14%.”
Continental EU markets now account for 34% of the industry’s total exports of food and drink.
Prospects for the year ahead look positive for Irish food and drink exports.
According to Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia: “In a year in which the world’s population will reach seven billion, growth in global demand is set to underpin food markets well into the future, albeit with some volatility to be expected. The challenge for the Irish food and drink industry is to maintain its current momentum, particularly in the areas of cost competitiveness, innovation and marketing.
Irish food and drink manufacturers across all categories are more optimistic and showing a more positive outlook, according to Bord Bia’s recent food industry survey (December 2010). In total, 70% of exporters involved in the survey viewed the prospects for their business in 2011 as good or very good. When asked to compare their prospects to a year earlier, 56% rated them as better.
Respondents also highlighted a number of key challenges facing their business including the value of the euro against the pound; pressure on consumer spending; changes in purchasing behaviour; and competition between retailers.