Irish meat exports reach record high of €3.8 billion – Bord Bia

Bord Bia has announced that last year, meat exports were worth €3.8 billion and accounted for 30% of Irish food and drink exports – the strongest year on record for meat exports against a difficult backdrop.

There were strong performances in the UK, international markets and generally robust performances across continental Europe, according to Bord Bia.

The UK stats are noteworthy given the slippage in sterling since 2016; while international developments show the extent of opportunities out there.

Beef exports grew by 5% to €2.5 billion; poultry exports rose by 3% to €295 million; pigmeat exports jumped 14% in value to €712 million; while lamb exports saw an increase of 12% to €274 million.

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy spoke at the event, saying: “Developments such as increased market access this year, set alongside trade figures, can leave us in no doubt about our meat industry’s ability to be competitive globally.

“Population growth, growing consumer affluence and greater demand for meat are creating a long-term opportunity for us; while Bord Bia’s commitments to quality, sustainability and consumer insight mean we’ve never been better placed to capitalise on them.

Bord Bia is working strategically with the industry to anticipate and respond to the new market realities when faced with Brexit and other challenges.

It was also revealed that Bord Bia is creating a marketing strategy for the meat industry, which is being developed in the context of a number of key factors and challenges which are and will impact on the industry over the next period.

These include the impact of Brexit, international trade deals, access to new markets, environmental challenges and changing consumer attitudes and trends, Bord Bia announced.

The aim of the strategy, Bord Bia says, is to provide strategic guidance to the Irish meat industry for the next five years.

A strategy steering group representing key industry stakeholder and agencies has been established which will input into the strategy as it evolves for beef, lamb, pigmeat and poultry.