IRELAND, Dublin. Notwithstanding the knock-on effects of the Covid 19 pandemic and Brexit, food and beverage exporters in Ireland posted a record year in 2021.
Sales promotion organization Bord Bia reported that the value of food, beverage and horticultural product shipments increased by four percent compared to 2020, totaling approximately €13.5 bn. Once again, the dairy sector contributed the largest share of agricultural exports at € 5 bn. The livestock and meat sectors followed behind with export sales of more than € 3.5 bn., while prepared food exports brought in around € 2.5 bn.
Ireland shipped about 90% of its total food and beverage production outside the country in 2021, according to Bord Bia. A total of €4.6 bn., or 34%, of the export total was collected from third-country markets, excluding the United Kingdom; the EU-27 and trade with the United Kingdom each accounted for about €4.5 bn., or 33%.
While exports to the UK thus declined slightly compared with 2020, business with the USA recovered significantly, according to Bord Bia. The value of the shipments in question increased by 22% to €1.3 bn., due in particular to strong sales of whiskey and liquor. This was also due to the suspension of the previously imposed US punitive tariffs. The value of Irish food and beverage exports to Africa increased by twelve percent to €918 mill., and shipments to Southeast Asia rose by a fifth to exceed €500 mill. for the first time.
Bord Bia board chair Tara McCarthy called the industry's performance "exceptional" when presenting the 2021 export figures. Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue also praised the industry for its export success, calling the food and drink sector "one of the brightest beacons of our economy." Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) President Tim Cullinan sees the export figures as evidence of the importance of the agricultural sector to the Irish economy as a whole. Against a backdrop of "massive increases" in production costs, with higher outlays for feed, energy and fertilizer, he called for higher producer prices across the board to compensate.
Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE