Bord Bia

Bord Bia

Premium Supplier 11th January 2024
Bord Bia

Bord Bia

Premium Supplier


The UK continues to play a pivotal role in the success of Ireland's food and drink industry.
UK, January 10th, 2024: In the ever-evolving global market landscape, Ireland's robust food and drink sector proudly holds its ground, fortified by a steadfast partnership with the United Kingdom. Despite prevailing market challenges, Ireland's exports to the UK have not only weathered the storm but have emerged more resilient, underscoring the vital nature of this pivotal relationship.
The recently unveiled Export Performance and Prospects report by Bord Bia paints a compelling picture of Ireland's success, showcasing a significant €16.3 billion (£14.1 billion) in food, drink, and horticulture exports in 2023. Within this dynamic landscape, the UK solidifies its role as the largest single destination, with an estimated €5.6 billion (£4.8 billion) in food and drink exports, constituting an impressive 34% share of total exports.
At the heart of this success story is the surge in Irish beef exports to the UK, reaching an estimated €1.3 billion (£1.1 billion) - a notable 10% value increase that elevates the UK market's share to 47%, up from 44% in 2022.

Export Performance 2023 - Key Sector Increases
• Beef exports were valued at €1.3 billion (£1 billion) in 2023, up from €1,1 billion (£946 million) in 2022.
• Packaged Consumer Food (PCF) exports increased from €1.9 billion (£1.6 billion) in 2022 to €2 billion (£1.6 billion) in 2023.
• Drinks were valued at €336 million up from €283 million in 2022, a percentage increase of +19%.
However, amidst the good news, challenges persist. The impact of inflation, the cost-of-living crisis, and downward pressure on trade prices have resulted in a decline in export values across various sectors.

Export Performance 2023 - Key Sector Decreases
• Irish dairy exports were valued at €1 billion (£860 million) down from €1.2 billion (£1 billion) in 2022.
• Irish horticulture and cereal exports were valued at €273 million (£233 million) down from €281 million (£241 million) in 2022
Nevertheless, the industry remains undeterred, with an overwhelming 73% of Irish food and drink exporters expressing optimism for robust market growth in 2024.

Key Sectoral Highlights
1. Export Performance:
• Ireland's food, drink, and horticulture exports reached €16.3 billion (£14.1 billion) in 2023 solidifying the UK's position as the largest single destination, with estimated food and drink exports valued at €5.6 billion (£4.8 billion) in 2023.
• The share of total exports destined for the UK in 2023 is estimated at 34%, up two percentage points on 2022.
• The meat and livestock sector played a crucial role in maintaining Ireland's standing as a significant player in global food and drink exports.
2. Beef Sector Performance:
• The value of exports of Irish beef to the UK increased by 10% to reach an estimated €1.3 billion (£1.1 billion). The UK market now represents 47% of Irish beef exports by value, a growth from 44% in 2022.
• Notable increases in the value of beef exports offset declines in other meat categories, showcasing the resilience of the Irish beef industry.
3. Horticulture and Cereals Performance:
• Despite reduced volumes, there was an increase in sales value, notably driven by Mushrooms, which comprised nearly 50% of the total export value.
4. Exporter Sentiment:
• Exporter Sentiment study reveals a positive outlook for 2024, with 73% expressing optimism for market growth.
• Challenges such as energy prices, inflation, and labour costs impact 53% of beef companies, indicating a nuanced landscape.
5. Export Destinations:
• The UK is now the largest single market for Irish beef, with a 47% share in 2023.
• The overall increase in trade during 2023 is attributed to higher exports of meat and livestock, with beef playing a significant role.
6. Challenges for 2024:
• A decline in export values and muted volume growth across Irish Dairy, PCF, Alcohol and Seafood can be attributed to market conditions such as inflation, a cost-of-living crisis affecting consumer spending, and substantial downward pressure on trade prices.
• Market volatility and inflation remain areas of concern, necessitating strategic planning.

Reflecting on the sector's achievements, Donal Denvir, Bord Bia’s Director UK, commented, “Despite market challenges, Ireland's food and drink industry, bolstered by a strong UK partnership, continues to perform well. Our industry stands out as a resilient and unwavering source of food and drinks our UK partners continue to benefit from.”

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