Drinks industry has potential to create 13,000 Irish jobs over next 15 years
The Irish drinks industry has the potential to grow exports to more than €2bn over the next 15 years and create 13,000 jobs, according to a new report.
The study, carried out by economist Ciaran Fitzgerald and commissioned by the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, found that many of these jobs could be based in the rural economy.
The report found if targets for the Governments ten year strategy for the agri-food sector, called "Foodwise 2025", are achieved the drinks industry grow exports by at least €700m, creating an additional 7,210 additional jobs in the Irish economy.
It also found that meeting the drinks industry ambition of growing the Irish whiskey sector to 24m cases would see Irish drink exports exceeding €2.2bn.
Mr Fitzgerald said this would generate additional direct and indirect employment of 13,390 jobs in the Irish economy.
However, he claimed that this potential expansion is being compromised by industry regulation, which he says is undermining competitiveness.
He said: “There is a disconnect between the targeting of the sector for growth and expansion as per the Government’s recent Foodwise 2025 strategic plan, and the government’s policies on price, taxation and regulatory costs.
"This inconsistency will ultimately act as a barrier to local and inward investment. The imposition of high taxes and regulatory costs is not economically sustainable and will only serve to undermine the economic contribution of the sector and curb its growth.”
Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland director Ross MacMathuana added: "This report has highlighted that significant export growth opportunities exists with the industry having the potential to grow exports by at least 85pc and potentially to over €2bn, creating and sustaining an additional 13,000 jobs.
"If we are to realise these ambitions, we need to have a more consistent policy framework in place informed by evidence-based regulation."