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  • DAFM 2021 Annual Review and Outlook Published

DAFM 2021 Annual Review and Outlook Published

The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine has published its Annual Review and Outlook for 2021, which shows that agriculture accounts for 9% of all exports and 7% of total employment

Commenting on the 2021 Annual Review and Outlook, Minister McConalogue said: "The Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 2021 covers a period when the sector faced the twin challenges of Brexit and the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our farmers, fishers and food producers as well as processors and exporters faced into this once-in-a-lifetime situation with remarkable resilience. The families of Ireland continued to have food on their tables, and we grew our €14bn export sector with world-class produce going to some 180 markets.

“The resilience shown by our farmers and fishers, food producers and processors, and the distribution chain, including retail, was remarkable. I think that the last year has really underlined

the vital contribution which farmers and fishers make, in producing food, in protecting our natural environment and landscapes, and in contributing to their local economy and community”.

Despite the disruption in the early phase of the pandemic, average family farm income in 2020 increased by 9% to €25,663. Total agri-food exports exceeded €14 billion for the second year in a row in 2020. The agri-food sector is Ireland’s oldest and largest indigenous exporting sector. In 2020, the sector accounted for over 6% of GNI and 9% of total exports in value terms (but a much higher proportion, estimated close to 40%, of exports by Irish-owned enterprises).

The agri-food sector employed 163,600 people or 7.1% of total employment in 2020, while outside of Dublin and the mid-east region, the sector provides between 10% and 14% of employment. Ireland’s food, drink and agri-food products were exported to over 180 markets worldwide. The United Kingdom remains our largest trading partner with 37% of agri-food products; other EU countries accounted for 32%; and the rest of the world accounted for 31% (€4.3 billion).

At over €5 billion, dairy products was the largest agri-food export, followed by beef at €2.3 billion, other meats at €1.5 billion and beverages also at €1.5 billion.

The Minister concluded: “I am confident that the data and information included in this Annual Review and Outlook will inform policy analysis and debate over the next year. This is as we look to the continued economic, environmental and social sustainability of the agri-food sector and particularly as we begin the implementation process for Food Vision 2030, the new stakeholder strategy for the sector, which has as its core vision to make Ireland a world leader in sustainable food systems.”