25,000 farming jobs created last year as agri-food exports jump 40% in four years

More than 58,000 jobs were created last year in Ireland and 25,000 of these were in farming.

This is according to Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney who was speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference earlier today.

In addition the minister also said that Ireland’s agri-food and drink exports have increased by a record-breaking 40 per cent in four years.

Farmers Weekly reports Minister Coveney said to delegates attending the key agricultural conference in the UK today that reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reflects global challenges and European priorities.

There had been “more good than bad” about the CAP during the past 50 years and the changes were vital for supporting sustainable intensification of agriculture, the minister said.

He said the minimum 30 per cent of a member state’s national envelope to be used for environmental schemes provided a benchmark for sustainability in farming, the UK farming newspaper added.

In addition, the minister said the “special relationship” between Ireland and the UK, which trade €7bn of goods each year, needed to continue by sharing technology, innovation and ambition.

“We are at the start of a golden era for agriculture and agri-food in Ireland and, in my view, also for other parts of Europe that want to buy into that vision,” the Farmers Weekly reports.

“In the UK you have the capacity, as we do, to produce vast quantities of food, to do it in a sustainable way and to prove it through audit systems.

“We need to do that for the business opportunity that is there and the moral obligation to show internationally how we produce high-quality, sustainable food.”

Meanwhile the agriculture minister is set to attend a Bord Bia export report briefing in its headquarters in Dublin tomorrow morning where Ireland’s agri-food export performance for 2013 will be outlined in detail by Bord Bia ceo Aidan Cotter.