This St Patrick’s Day, food & drink producers on the island of Ireland celebrate our lush green fields, temperate climate and wild Atlantic coastline.
These unique features are the source of our highest quality and distinctly natural world-class products.
The good news is there’s enough to go around – we invite you to connect with the source as we share our Irish food & drink products with the world.
Ireland’s dairy industry is built on the family-farm tradition and represents Ireland’s largest food & drink export category. On average, 95% of Irish dairy cows' diet is made up of grass. Irish dairy exports performed positively in 2021, with exports exceeding €5 billion for the third year in a row.
Total exports of primary beef in 2021 was valued at €2.1 billion in 2021, a 9% increase on 2020 reflecting stronger prices for much of the year. Higher prices helped offset a drop of 12% in export volumes of beef and offal to 504,000 tonnes. The value of offal exports stood at €137 million, a drop of 29% on 2020.
Exports by the beverage category recorded growth of 7% or €10 million in 2021 to reach €150 million. This was largely driven by the continued growth in export of premium adult beverages to the UK retail market and new retail contracts for waters, soft drinks and juices to EU markets, notably Italy and Eastern Europe (up €7 million).
Prepared Consumer Foods
The value of Prepared Consumer Foods (PCF) exports in 2021 was valued at €2.5 billion, which represents a recovery of almost 3% on 2020 despite ongoing disruptions with some channels closed for significant periods.
Over 90% of Irish food & drink exports come from companies that participate in Ireland’s pioneering food and drink sustainability programme called Origin Green. The programme collaborates with over 53,000 farms and 324 leading Irish food and drink companies who are committed to making sustainable and environmental improvements in their farms and businesses.
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