Over 90% of Irish food producers experiencing growth, new survey shows

Minister Simon Coveney pictured with the Canning family, Bernie and Graham of Blast and Wilde in Slane, Co. Meath and their children Roisin, (9), Oliver (13) and Adam (12) who were Supreme Champions for their butter in 2014

Cash flow and financial support among major challenges faced by producers, according to survey results released at the launch of Blas na hEireann, The Irish Food Awards

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27 May 2015 | 0

AT A GLANCE: PRODUCER POWER SURVEY – KEY RESULTS 

  • 45% of producers cited cash flow and financial advice and more than 50% cited ‘distribution’ as the biggest challenges they face in terms of business growth
  • 25% mentioned securing investment as their biggest challenge
  • 48% of respondents said that they were business-ready to look at exporting their produce
  • 90% of producers across the island have seen their operations grow in the past year
  • 95% feel confident that their businesses will continue to flourish throughout 2015

A new survey of more than 2,000 Irish food producers across the island of Ireland shows that while they are experiencing substantial growth, issues such as cash flow, distribution and access to financial advice remain major challenges, particularly for producers ready to develop into national and international markets.

The survey results were announced at the launch of the eighth annual Blas na hEireann, The Irish Food Awards by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney on Tuesday 26 May.

This year’s Irish Food Awards will see more than 2,000 Irish products blind tasted and scored by over 350 judges who will select the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in over 90 produce categories. Online entries for the competition close on 17 June 2015 and can be completed on www.irishfoodawards.com.

The ‘Producer Power Survey’ showed that over 90% of producers across the island have seen their operations grow in the past year and a huge 95% feel confident that their businesses will continue to flourish throughout 2015.

Furthermore the vast majority of producers have said that government and State agency supports have been vital to their business development – from the Local Enterprise Offices in each county, Teagasc, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, and Údaras na Gaeltachta for smaller producers to Invest NI, Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia for the bigger international operators.

“It is extremely encouraging to see such high levels of optimism amongst Irish food producers,” said Minister Coveney. “I am very pleased to see that producers are experiencing the levels of support that they need from government-funded agencies throughout the country and it is impressive that 48% of those responding to the survey were considering exporting.”

“Winning at The Irish Food Awards has proven to be of huge business benefit to companies, and has put the finest produce from these counties on the map,” he added.

All winners including Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer will be announced at the ‘Irish Food Oscars’ in Dingle on 3 October 2015.

 

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