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French Market Worth €500m to Irish Food and Drink Sector and Growing - Smith

Speaking on the occasion of the Bord Bia hospitality reception for the Ireland v France Rugby match, Mr Brendan Smith TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with special responsibility for Food and Horticulture, said that France was a premium market for Irish food and drink exports. Sales to France now topped €500 million and were expanding in volume and range.

Minister Smith commented: "The French market demands produce of the highest quality and taste. This is well understood by Irish exporters of lamb, beef, dairy products, cream liqueur and whiskey. Innovative packaging and presentation of quality produce are key to attracting the attention of the French consumer and the past year has seen Irish processors continue to meet this demand."

Welcoming French and Irish companies to the Bord Bia reception, Minister Smith concluded that the agri-food sector remained an important contributor to trade for both countries.

12 February 2006

Date Released: 12 February 2006