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Agriculture; Food and the Marine | Irish dairy industry

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which the Irish dairy industry can invest with confidence, with particular reference to the need to maintain markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I remain confident that the outlook for the Irish dairy Industry remains very positive. The Irish dairy sector is robust, sustaianble and modern. It is well placed to meet the challenges we face into in the time ahead.

Despite the negative impacts of Brexit, COVID-19 and the Ukraine/Energy-crisis, the industry has proved to be remarkably resilient. The industry continues to grow and evolve to meet the demands of local and international markets.

Ireland currently exports 93% of our dairy output and a strong strategic focus is required to maintain these international markets. I am happy to report that Irish dairy exports exceeded the €5bn mark for the third consecutive year in 2021.

Ireland’s agri-food sector has benefited from an approach to strategic planning through the development of stakeholder-led strategies that ensure that the sector has a coherent vision
and plan to underpin its continued development.

The current Food Vision 2030 is a strategy for the continuing development of the agri-food sector in Ireland. Mission 3 in the Strategy is for Food that is Safe, Nutritious and Appealing, Trusted and Valued at Home and Abroad, with a particular focus on the importance of trade. Food Vision looks to protect and build on Ireland’s global reputation as a trusted supplier of high quality, safe, sustainable food to consumers at home and abroad.

 This Mission aims to prioritise coherent food and health policies for better health outcomes, to enhance consumer trust in our food system, to create value add through insight, innovation and product differentiation, and to further develop market and trade opportunities both at home and abroad.  Irish agri-food has been successful in accessing and developing new market opportunities, both locally and in international markets.

Diversifying and developing markets will continue to be a priority. We believe that the agri-food sector overall can reach €21 billion in exports by 2030, and dairy has a key role to play in this, with this growth driven by a steady growth in export value rather than volume

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