IFA President Tim Cullinan said the record agri-food export figures announced by Bord Bia today show the importance of farming to the Irish economy.
“€16.7bn is the highest figure ever recorded for our exports. What’s significant is the very important economic footprint this creates across the country. Unlike some sectors, the agri-food sector is embedded in every region and the return from exports generates activity in literally every rural parish,” he said.
He said the performance underlines the resilience of the sector as it came in a year when farmers were dealing with massive hikes in the cost of production.
Tim Cullinan said there’s a direct correlation between output and exports. “Economist Ciaran Fitzgerald told our Farming and Climate Summit in Thomond Park yesterday that every 1% drop in output would cost the economy €240m. If we want to build our export profile, we cannot countenance a drop in output,” he said.
The IFA President said the figures also show that agri-food exports are getting to markets beyond the UK, even though this remains a very important destination for our products.
“68% of the exports reached markets apart from the UK. Bord Bia should continue to develop market opportunities and capitalise on the very strong reputation that our food enjoys,” he said.