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Irish Food Industry Sees Growth

Pint of Guinness and a plate of buttered bread

The Irish food industry is celebrating a great year for export growth, according to the latest figures which have recently come in.

Irish Export Figures High

The food and drink sector in Ireland saw overseas sales hitting a record €10.8 billion last year, an incredible figure at a time when uncertainty has rocked several world markets. As the European trade hubs pull further away from the darker times of recession past, things are certainly looking good for this area.

This is in fact the sixth year in a row that growth has been reported from the industry, dating back to the recession-hit year of 2010, which is fantastic news for both global and national recovery. Since 2009, the most recent year to see a fall in sales, exports have grown by more than 50 per cent.

Overall, this year saw an increase of 3 per cent over 2014, as reported by Bord Bia. The Irish food board put together a draft annual report recently to unveil the exciting new figures.

As for what caused it, Bord Bia have focused on the increased output of production in certain key sectors. This is also stacked up with great exchange rate changes, allowing for the Euro to see stronger returns when trading overseas.

EU Milk Quotas Offset

The EU milk quotas ended in 2015, and this was something that was certainly a small cause for concern. Dairy prices have indeed fallen since the quotes came to a stop, but that decrease was met and offset by better prices elsewhere. The main areas of success were beef, seafood, and beverages.

This is great news for those who were worried about the change, although not such a great ending for dairy farmers. The hope is that this change will not be a long-lasting or too badly negative one. If the trend continues through the coming years, it could be ill tidings for those who focus on milk production.

The overall trend is a positive one, and Irish food industry professionals can take heart from that. If you are currently based in the UK and wish to travel to Ireland for work, make sure that you take a look at our international food jobs, or search for a more specific part of the industry. With better growth figures, some firms may be looking to expand and carry that profit forward into the years ahead.

Backlash for Tesco

Tesco front of the shop

Tesco photo credit: By Martin Addison, CC BY-SA 2.0

This news comes hot on the heels of a backlash against Tesco, the supermarket giant which has recently announced a decision to remove Irish foods from the World Foods aisle. Scheduled to take place at the end of July, the cull will see 49 different products of Irish origin disappearing from the shelves. This affects over 200 stores across the UK, and has many shoppers up in arms.

Some Irish products have already been phased out, and if your favourite has run out of stock, it won’t be coming back.

A Bord Bia spokesperson said: “We are very disappointed with the announcement by Tesco to remove their Irish food section from the World Foods Aisle considering the number of Irish people living in the UK and the growth of this sector has been enjoying over the past number of years. We often get queries from first and second generation Irish living in the UK asking where they can buy their favourite Irish brands. Tesco risk alienating these loyal shoppers who could switch to other retailers who are offering this choice.”

The Irish section was introduced back in 2011 and at one time held some 160 products, in stark contrast to the mere 9 which will remain and become part of the store’s normal shelf stock. This has come as a shock to some, particularly considering the fact that Irish shoppers tend to spend the most cash in the world foods section.

“We review our ranges to deliver the best possible shopping experience for customers. These changes will ensure that we continue to offer great availability on the most popular Irish products at affordable prices,” a Tesco spokesperson said.

The outrage continues on social media, where plenty of people have expressed their concern and disgust at the move.