Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 21 June 2018

15 markets earmarked for best growth opportunities for Irish food exports

Tara McCarthy and the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.
Tara McCarthy and the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

A new report, launched today by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has identified 15 markets by sector that are likely to present growth opportunities for Irish agri-food exporters.

‘Prioritising Markets: Opportunities for Growth’, commissioned by the Department of Agriculture offers overviews of 75 in-depth studies conducted across a range of priority markets, representing the most detailed and broad ranging study of international opportunity ever undertaken on behalf of the Irish food and drink industry.

Over 180 markets were screened using macro-economic and sector specific criteria weighted and assessed for each category. Initial screening included factors such as size of middle class, urbanisation, rate of growth in food market, imports, prices and tariffs, population projections, income per capita, market access and ease of doing business.

Based on the report outputs, Bord Bia, on behalf of the Irish meat industry, will now move to conducting further deep dive analysis on five markets across Asia and Mexico.

Countries including Australia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Iran Mexico and Japan are earmarked for meat exports, while China, Japan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia are some of the countries dairy exports will be targetting.

Launching the reports, Minister Creed said: “The publication of today’s reports represent the most detailed and broad ranging study of international opportunity ever undertaken on behalf of the Irish food and drink sector.

"Over the last six years, the value of Irish dairy exports has increased by 11pc, the value of our beef exports by almost 50pc, cereals and cereal preparations by 59%, seafood and seafood exports by 50pc, forestry exports doubled from €112million to €226 million and sheepmeat exports increased by 70pc."

He also said that in light of Brexit, Ireland must intensity its efforts further to diversify those international markets that offer the best potential for growth.

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Total agri-food exports from Ireland exceeded €13 billion last year. Although the UK and European markets remain vitally important for Irish food and drink manufacturers, half of this growth came from markets outside of Europe, led by a six-fold increase in exports to China, a doubling to the rest of Asia and North America and a rise of 40pc in trade to the Middle East and Africa.

Today China is the second biggest market for Irish dairy while the US absorbs almost 45pc of Irish whiskey exports.

Speaking today Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, said “Although the UK will continue to be the most important market for Irish food and drink manufacturers, changing global circumstances move the diversification opportunity centre stage."

The market prioritisation analysis will be reviewed annually.


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