Warning 'strong' UK food exports vulnerable to hard Brexit
Food exports by Enterprise Ireland clients increased by 10pc last year to €11.6bn, with the UK described as a "very strong" market for the sector.
Food exports to China, in particular in the form of infant milk formula, had also been strong, Enterprise Ireland boss Julie Sinnamon said.
But Ms Sinnamon warned that Ireland's food industry faces being "significantly impacted" in the event of a hard Brexit.
"If there is a hard Brexit we would be concerned for many sectors but food would be significantly impacted and that is why the diversification agenda is really important.
"But a hard Brexit will impact significantly on agri-food, engineering, construction, lots of sectors."
Ms Sinnamon was responding to questions after the State agency with responsibility for supporting Irish exporters announced its results for 2017.
Total sales last year both domestically and overseas by Enterprise Ireland-supported clients topped €44.4bn, an 8pc increase year-on-year.
In what was a record year for exports from Enterprise Ireland clients, export sales recorded in 2017 topped €22.7bn, a 7pc increase on the previous year.