Blog: Irish exporters are smiling
Dean Best | 18 January 2012
The spike in commodity prices helped push Irish food and drink exports to a record level in 2011. Ireland's exporters may not enjoy quite the same benefit in 2012 but confidence about Irish prospects overseas is on the rise.
Data issued by Bord Bia, the agency that promotes Irish food and drink exports overseas, has shown the the value of the industry's shipments grew to an "all-time high" of EUR8.85bn (US$11.36bn) in 2011.
Exports were boosted by global prices for major commodities in 2011, Bord Bia said, although it pointed out that volume growth accounted for 25% of the growth in Ireland's food and drink exports.
Nonetheless, Bord Bia did indicate that exporters may not get the same helping hand from commodity prices this year. It said the prospects for Ireland's food and drink exports in 2012 were "positive" but said lower volume in some sectors and "some further softening in global commodity prices" are likely to lead to "more limited growth potential" this year.
However, the agency said its annual survey of Ireland's food and drink exporters suggested "increased optimism" about this year, compared to how they felt 12 months ago about 2011.
"In total, 85% of exporters viewed the prospects for their business in 2012 as good or very good. This compares to 70% in 2010," Bord Bia said. "Almost two thirds of respondents rated their business prospects as much improved/improved compared to a year earlier. In terms of sales prospects, 69% of respondents, compared to 64% in 2010, stated that they had increased their sales forecasts for the year ahead."
Just before Christmas, the UK's food and soft drink sectors set a goal of growing by 20% by 2020 and said exports would play a key role in achieving that target.
However, industry association The Food and Drink Federation did indicate that there was evidence that UK exporters were losing sales to rival countries and insisted more need to be done to regain ground.
Later this month, a UK food and drink export forum, co-chaired by industry and government, will launch an "export action plan". Manufacturers on both sides of the Irish Sea will be keen to hear what the UK government and industry plans to do to grab share of export markets, vital to revitalising growth in both economies.
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
To follow on from our earlier notice and after some hard work from our technical team, just-food is back live after today's power outage....
Much of the UK has felt the impact of Storm Doris today - and just-food's head office has been no exception....
- General Mills sales woes continue - analysis
- Why personalisation will take-off in US food
- US food next wave on display at Winter Fancy Food
- Comment: Meal kits in US - don't believe the hype
- Analysis: Chocolate sector's deforestation pledge
- Kraft Heinz cuts jobs in US, Canada
- Mondelez set for union crosshairs next week
- Mondelez plays down impact of union action
- Brazil seeks to cool concerns over meat probe
- US meal delivery service Blue Apron buys BN Ranch