Eighth successive year of growth sees Irish agri-food exports hit record €12.6bn
- Dairy remains the most valuable sector
- Ireland’s butter exports rose by a remarkable 60pc this year alone
- Irish beef exports were up 5pc in value
- Growth to the UK market continues despite Brexit fears
Irish agri-food exports hit a record 12.6bn last year, according to new figures from Bord Bia, with sales growth to the UK continuing to grow despite Brexit fears.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed announced that the value of Irish food, drink and horticulture exports increased by 13pc in 2017, to reach €12.6 billion for the first time.
Speaking at the launch of Bord Bia’s Export Performance and Prospects 2017-2018 report, the Minister said “last year marked the 8th successive year of growth for total Irish agri-food exports, to reach a record of €13.5 billion."
Overall, the value of food and drink exports was up 13pc and broken down by sector, the value of live animal exports was up 21pc to €175m, the largest increase by sector.
Dairy remains the most valuable sector, with exports of products and ingredients valued at €4bn, up 19pc, and now accounts for one third of all food and drink exports.
Irish beef exports were up 5pc in value, which represents a fifth of all exports at almost €2.5bn.
Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, emphasised how increased volume in our key export sectors, combined with strong market returns, helped boost trade throughout 2017.
“In terms of yearly growth rates, the dairy sector grew by almost 20 percent to reach €4.02 bln, confirming its position as the number one exporting sector. Within the dairy sector, the value of Ireland’s butter exports rose by a remarkable 60pc this year alone, to reach €879m.