France is Ireland’s second biggest food and drink market
France is Ireland’s second largest export market and this was recognised by Tom Hayes, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine recently.
Speaking at the 10th annual Bord Bia Irish Food and Drink Trade Reception in the Irish Embassy in Paris, where representatives of major French retailers and food service industry, along with over 30 Irish food and drink exporters to France, were present.
Minister Hayes highlighted the role that the food and drink sector has played in Ireland’s journey to economic recovery and the importance of the French market in this context.
“While globally Irish food and drink exports grew by 10% in 2013, exports to France increased by 14% to reach a value of €670 million. France is Ireland’s biggest customer for lamb and seafood and our second largest customer for beef and whiskey.”
France remains Ireland’s second largest food and drink market in the world and our largest Eurozone market.
“The strong food culture in France means that the French consumer is highly appreciative of quality and sustainability. By putting these characteristics at the top of its agenda, the Irish agri-food sector has continued to build its exports to France.”
The Minister went on to highlight the importance of sustainability to consumers, purchasers of Irish raw materials, and retailers alike and noted that 75% of Irish food and drink exports were from Origin Green companies, farms and factories.
Minister Hayes acknowledged that 2014 has been a challenging year for some within the food industry, notably the beef sector, but highlighted the fact that exports to France for the first three quarters of the year have increased by 7% in value compared to the same period the previous year.
“I am confident that with policy changes such as the lifting of milk quotas in the coming months, Ministerial trade missions, Bord Bia support through programmes such as MarketPlace 2015, the EU lamb promotion campaign, international trade fairs, and the Chef’s Irish Beef Club, allied to all of your own hard work, we can continue to build on our economic recovery and in our export ambitions.”