Sector profile

Key statistics
• 250,000 jobs linked to the agri-food sector
• €27.5bn turnover in the sector
• Supplies the majority of produce to Ireland’s €15bn domestic grocery and food service sector
• €12.6bn worth of exports in 2017 to 180 countries
• 53% of all exports by indigenous Irish manufacturers
• Destinations – UK 35%, rest of Europe 33%, third countries 32%
• Total payroll in the sector is €2.16bn – more than any other manufacturing sector
• €11.1bn worth of materials purchased - 71% are sourced in Ireland
• €3.6bn worth of services purchased – 50% are sourced in Ireland
• Ireland is the largest net exporter of dairy ingredients, beef and lamb in Europe
• Ireland is the largest exporter in Europe of powdered infant formula
• Ireland exports over 80% of its dairy and beef production
• Ireland is the UK’s largest supplier of food and drink

Key facts
· The agri-food industry has deeper links to the wider economy than the rest of manufacturing.
· It accounts for almost half of direct expenditure by the entire manufacturing sector in the Irish economy (payroll, Irish materials and Irish services).
· As a result, the sector has a high employment multiplier, which means it supports employment in other parts of the economy in a way that other sectors don’t.
· Uniquely, this economic activity is consistently dispersed throughout all regions of Ireland, especially rural areas. It is therefore also at heart of the social fabric of rural Ireland.
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