IFA President Tim Cullinan said the record level of food and drink exports of €19bn in 2022 is testament to the work and investment of farmers.
He said there are many elements in the chain that contribute to such a strong figure, but farmers as primary producers are the cornerstone of our agri-food sector, which employs 165,000 directly as well as supporting many more downstream jobs.
“Last year was a turbulent one for the sector, with some significant external shocks driving input costs to record levels. This export performance shows the resilience of producers in the face of unprecedented challenges. Their efforts in delivering this increase in exports should not be underestimated,” he said.
The IFA President said the value of the agri-food sector, particularly to the rural economy, has to be recognised by pollcymakers, both here and in Brussels.
“As the next CAP begins to take shape, the focus has to come back to the farmer. Without farmers, we wouldn’t have an export profile that delivers €19bn to the Irish economy and supports tens of thousands of jobs in rural Ireland,” he said.
“We have seen a drift away from support for food production. If these figures show us anything, it’s that policy measures that recognise and reward the work of farmers do deliver a dividend,” he said.