Irish exports of food and drink increased last year by 11%, reaching €7.9bn in 2010 after a 12% dip in 2009 and a fall of 6.5% in 2008 - - 2010 exports amounted to 4.9% of total exports.
State agency Bord Bia said the sector was a major contributor to the economy's strong export performance in 2010.
Total exports are estimated to have been €161bn in 2010 giving the food and drink sector its 4.9% share.
The increase in food and drink sales last year was €800m. Bord Bia says this performance was helped by a more stable consumer environment, reduced exchange rate pressures, improved competitiveness and rising global prices for most agricultural commodities.
The chairman of Bord Bia, Dan Browne, said all the main areas recorded increases - - with dairy exports jumping by more than €300m or 17%. Meat and livestock exports were almost €200m higher while beverage and prepared food exports were also up significantly.
Bord Bia stressed the increased sales on continental Europe. Overall, prospects for this year remain positive and a survey of manufacturers shows increased optimism.
Forfás estimate that 65% of manufacturing exports by Irish-owned firms consist of food and drink.
Finfacts article: Foreign-owned firms accounted for 91% of Ireland's tradeable exports in 2009; Food & drink exports fell 15% - - UK food and drinks exports grew by more than 5% in 2009 when Ireland's dipped by 15%.
is an increasingly important market for British food/drink exports, accounting
for 27% of total earnings. Imports of food and drink from the UK topped €2.99bn
in 2009, an increase of 6%.
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