Irish food and drink exports to France up 4% in value terms

Minister Andrew Doyle addresses Bord Bia seminar in Paris and hosts Embassy Trade Reception



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8 December 2016

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CSO trade data for the first nine months of 2016 shows renewed growth in Irish food and drink exports to France, up 4% in value and 6% in volume on the same period in 2015. This has been driven by growth in the seafood, lamb and beverages categories.

In fact, France is Ireland’s most important customer for lamb and seafood, second largest customer for beef behind the U.K and third largest export market for Irish whiskey globally.

Bord Bia highlighted these growth figures today, as it brought together Irish food and drink exporters with leading French foodservice experts in Paris today to explore opportunities in a market where dining out is a way of life for many.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Andrew Doyle addressed Bord Bia’s Foodservice Market Insights Seminar in Paris earlier today. Later this evening, the Minister will also host the annual Bord Bia trade reception at the Embassy of Ireland. During the reception, over 50 representatives from 25 Irish exporters will meet with in excess of 200 French food and drink buyers, deepening the long established trading relationship between the two countries.

France continues to be Ireland’s largest Eurozone export market for food and beverages in 2015, and is now in third place globally (behind the UK and the U.S), accounting for 6.6% or €703m of export revenue.  It is home to one of the largest “out of home” food consumption markets in Europe, valued at €80.66 bn. (+1%) in 2015. Over 60% of turnover is generated by the commercial food service operators, 25.1% by institutional foodservice operators (schools etc.) and the remaining 12.5% comprises impulse buying (including petrol stations, delis etc.).

Irish exporters already supply seafood, cheese, bagels, muffins, bacon and other cooked meats to the French foodservice channel and Bord Bia`s ambition is to help these exporters become the preferred supplies in each of their individual categories in France and build on their success.

The importance of France as a potential growth area was highlighted by Bord Bia Chief Executive Aidan Cotter who noted that “the value of Irish food and drink exports to France will need to increase by approximately 40% to €1 billion if we are to meet the industry targets in FoodWise 2025.

I am convinced our exporters can thrive in this market having responded to growth in our own foodservice market which hit a record €7.5 billion this year, and is forecast to grow to over €9 billion by 2020,” Cotter added.  



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