Majority of small food businesses have taken Brexit precautions, but 50pc of trade still goes to UK
Over 73pc of small food and drink businesses have taken precautions around Brexit, they are still hugely reliant on the UK for exports, the latest figures show.
Research from Bord Bia presented at its annual Small Business Open Day, shows that Ireland’s small food and drink businesses are optimistic about future development opportunities domestically and in export markets.
Some 73pc of its clients have taken Brexit actions, but the UK is currently the largest export market and over half of the companies exporting (54pc) export via distributors, while 44pc trade directly with their end customers.
Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said, “notwithstanding the unprecedented challenges posed by Brexit, we are encouraged by the positivity and proven durability of the small business sector in Ireland.
Bord Bia estimates that the small food and drink business sector is worth some €400 million to the Irish economy, with the highest concentration of small businesses in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford.
Companies in the sector are typically less than ten years old and primarily self-funded. The majority of small food and drink producers employ fewer than ten people, but many plan to increase employment significantly.
According to the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle highlighted the significance of the sector.
“Small food and drink businesses are important contributors to the sustainability and future prosperity of the Irish economy. Survival and growth not only bring investment returns for individual businesses, but also underpin the wider local community and the image of Ireland as a provider of high quality, innovative and sustainable food. Small producers, often with close links to the farm, are of crucial importance to rural communities.”
Bord Bia’s Marketing Assistance Programmes is expected to see 170 companies approved for grants and marketing assistance totalling almost €1m in the coming months.
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