| 5.3°C Dublin

Food job fears

IRISH food exports dropped by a further 5pc in the first quarter of the year, raising concerns about thousands of jobs.

The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) said exports by the sector fell 12pc last year. It claimed the Government could assist in saving food jobs by releasing the €42m in funds agreed last year in the Stabilisation Fund, and the €117m outstanding from the Enterprise Employment Scheme.

IEA chief executive John Whelan said that only 50pc of the fund schemes, which were approved last year to help exporters survive the global downturn, has been released.