Agriculture; Food and the Marine | Irish Food Market exports
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which the various export markets for Irish food and food products have been examined with a view to ensuring their continuity, stability and the need to ensure the availability of sufficient food and food products in the face of worldwide shortages; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Global markets for Irish agri-food exports have been impacted by a series of challenges in recent years. ranging from Brexit to the COVID-19 pandemic to current uncertainties and pressures on inflation and supply chains arising from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Despite these complex and multifaceted challenges, which have resulted in significant uncertainty and volatility in EU and global food supply chains, Ireland’s agri-food sector trade performance has very strongly demonstrated the ongoing resilience of the sector.
The most recent 2022 Central Statistics Office (CSO) data available, covering the period January to September 2022, shows that our agri-food exports (to over 180 countries worldwide) were valued at €13.9 billion, up over €2.5 billion on the same period in 2021. The overall volume of Irish agri-food exports has also increased in 2022 compared to 2021, by some 2.1%, with dairy exports increasing in volume terms by 6% and beef by 12%.
This continued growth in Irish exports of high-quality and sustainably produced food products is critical to global markets which are facing much uncertainty at this time, not least because of inflationary pressures driven by the war in Ukraine.
I can assure the Deputy that my Department’s focus, in the face of current geo-political challenges, remains firmly on supporting the agri-food sector in meeting its ambitions to grow exports in a sustainable manner and to continue to contribute to solutions to address global food security concerns.
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