Food exporters targeting growth in non-UK markets
Three out of four Irish food and drinks companies have increased sales to non-UK markets, while 85pc are looking to expand beyond Britain and Ireland, according to a Bord Bia survey.
The latest findings of Bord Bia's Brexit Barometer come as negotiations between the EU and UK enter a crucial phase in Brussels this week.
Concern over the possible fallout from a 'no deal Brexit' was reflected last week in the Department of Agriculture's spending estimates for 2019, with a €78m suite of measures earmarked to counter such an eventuality.
One of the main winners from this extra spending was Bord Bia, with the food marketing agency's budget increasing by €5m to €46.6m for 2019.
This represents a 60pc lift in overall funding since 2014.
Welcoming the additional monies, Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy admitted that Brexit posed a real test for the Irish food and drinks sector.
"The continued sustainable growth of Ireland`s agri-food industry depends on its success in securing and maintaining a premium position in the best markets for Irish food and drink around the world," Ms McCarthy said.
"The significant change that will result from the decision of the UK, our biggest export destination, to leave the EU places a considerable challenge on this growth path," she pointed out.