Agrifood exports perform strongly

Minister Simon Coveney TD outlined some statistics in the Oireachtas concerning exports and said he was “confident” in Ireland’s current food export situation.

Deputy Tom Fleming TD asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the progress that has been made in the export of beef, lamb, pig meat and dairy products since the Government came into office

“Food Harvest 2020 sets a target of €12bn in total food and drink exports by 2020,” Coveney replied. “The value of exports is of course a function of supply and demand and other factors, but despite difficult economic conditions in the market place, Irish agrifood exports are continuing to perform strongly. The interim export target for 2015 is €10bn and the fact that the value of agrifood and drink exports exceeded €9bn for the first time ever in 2012 marks good progress so far.”

Coveney outlined how every sector except for dairy had improved numbers in 2012:

Dairy 2,715 2,620
Beef 1,860 1,900
Pigmeat 421 507
Sheepmeat 197 212
Grand Total 5,194 5,239

(Numbers on the left represent 2011, figures are in millions of euro and statistics were gathered by the Central Statistics Office)

On the subject of his recent work, he outlined “notable successes” in reaching agreement with authorities in Singapore, Egypt, Iran and the GCC Countries that allow for the export of Irish beef, with Singapore, South Africa, UAE, Canada and the Russian Federation-Customs Union for the export of Irish sheepmeat and with Australia and Serbia for the export of Irish pork.

Coveney added: “I am confident that Ireland is taking the steps necessary to avail of the opportunities presented by expanding global demand for food and am committed to ensuring that the contribution of the agrifood sector to the economy, exports and employment is maximised.”

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