The record exports of €8.9 billion achieved by Irish food and drink companies in 2011 have been welcomed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD He commented, “This is a tremendous achievement. Irish food and drink companies have worked extremely hard to build on existing markets and identify new market opportunities for value added food and drink products in a very competitive global economy.”
He continued, “In Food Harvest 2020 the industry and food producers agreed ambitious growth targets. The stellar performance in 2011 puts the sector on track to achieve those aims. It is particularly impressive to see achievements made across sectors and markets. Ireland can meet increasing world demand for quality and sustainably produced food if we maintain this level of commitment to identifying market opportunities and delivering those products”.
The Minister said he planned to visit China this year to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart. “A Chinese delegation visited Ireland recently and were particularly impressed with our grass based production systems”
The Minister concluded by saying that these latest export figures combined with the recently published farm income figures should help to maintain confidence in the ability of agri-food sector to drive economic growth.