Ireland is a clean, green, high quality and innovative producer of excellent food and drink products, a reputation which has been earned from many years of supplying international markets. The hugely valuable natural resources of Ireland have been harnessed to develop a world class agricultural industry. Agri-food is Ireland’s most important indigenous sector employing 50,000 directly, with 180,000 linked jobs in farming and support industries.
Exports now surpass €11bn. The agri-food industry has deep links to the wider economy accounting for half of direct expenditure by the entire manufacturing sector in the Irish economy. Uniquely, this economic activity is consistently dispersed throughout all regions of Ireland, especially rural areas, and is therefore also at the heart of the social fabric of rural Ireland.