New Report Identifies and Analyses Top 15 Growth Markets for Food and Drink Exports

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New Report Identifies and Analyses Top 15 Growth Markets for Food and Drink Exports

Bord Bia Release Prioritising Markets report  



The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD today released the findings of new in-depth reports into international markets for Irish food and drink exports. ‘Prioritising Markets: Opportunities for Growth’, commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and coordinated by Bord Bia, identifies the 15 markets by sector that are likely to present growth opportunities for meat, dairy, prepared consumer foods, beverages, and seafood over the next 5-10 years, against the capability of Ireland to supply those markets. An in-depth study on the top five markets by sector is completed for some sectors and close to completion for others.

Over 180 Markets Screened

The publication of these reports offers concise overviews of 75 in-depth studies conducted across a range of priority markets, representing the most detailed and broad ranging study of international opportunity ever undertaken on behalf of the Irish food and drink industry. Over 180 markets were screened using macro-economic and sector specific criteria weighted and assessed for each category. Initial screening included factors such as size of middle class, urbanisation, rate of growth in food market, imports, prices and tariffs, population projections, income per capita, market access and ease of doing business.

Based on the report outputs, Bord Bia, on behalf of the Irish meat industry, will now move to conducting further deep dive analysis on five markets across Asia and Mexico. A similar approach will be undertaken with the dairy industry, however the deep dive work will focus solely on Asia. The seafood industry’s top markets for further analysis are across a number of continents, while the focus for beverages is the USA, the EU, and Asia. Key markets chosen for prepared consumer foods are most likely to be in the Middle East and the EU.

Detailed and Broad Ranging Study

Launching the reports, Minister Creed said: “The publication of today’s reports represent the most detailed and broad ranging study of international opportunity ever undertaken on behalf of the Irish food and drink sector. Over the last six years, the value of Irish dairy exports has increased by 11%, the value of our beef exports by almost 50%, cereals and cereal preparations by 59%, seafood and seafood exports by 50%, forestry exports doubled from €112million to €226 million and sheepmeat exports increased by 70%.

Notwithstanding this significant success, we must, in the light of Brexit, intensity our efforts further to diversify those international markets that offer the best potential for growth. The publication of today’s reports by Bord Bia provides the insights to help Irish companies identify potential leads, better understand the needs and requirements of overseas customers and understand the mechanics of doing business in the market.”

Exporters will find up to date information on international market size and trends; analysis of sectoral levels of self-sufficiency; competitor details; price-point data; and information on technical issues related to trading with each individual country. The track record of the Irish industry’s performance to date in each market is also assessed.

International Opportunities

Total agri-food exports from Ireland exceeded €13 billion last year. Although the UK and European markets remain vitally important for Irish food and drink manufacturers, half of this growth came from markets outside of Europe, led by a six-fold increase in exports to China, a doubling to the rest of Asia and North America and a rise of 40% in trade to the Middle East and Africa.

Today China is the second biggest market for Irish dairy while the US absorbs almost 45% of Irish whiskey exports. If the growth trends evident between 2009 and 2016 continue, international markets will account for over 40% of Irish food and drinks exports by 2025. Global population growth, along with increased urbanisation and affluence, and the intensifying challenges of climate change, provide the context for this opportunity.

Speaking today Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, said “Although the UK will continue to be the most important market for Irish food and drink manufacturers, changing global circumstances move the diversification opportunity centre stage. Bord Bia recognises that sustainable performances internationally by Irish companies require high levels of strategic insight and preparedness and Irish food and drink sector are increasingly adopting a structured approach, driven by data. The resources to pursue this path, provided by Bord Bia and the Department, have never been more focused

Insights and Data

Whether looking to the UK, EU or beyond, the challenges can sometimes seem considerable, not just in terms of regulatory complexity but with regard to understanding consumer behaviour, managing distribution channels and resourcing marketing and promotional activity. Today’s reports provide Irish food and drink manufacturers with substantial data and insight with which to prepare a strategic approach to international export markets. In the context of the uncertainty that persists around Brexit, this is, above all, a positive assertion of the long-term possibilities for our industry.”

The market prioritisation analysis will be reviewed annually.