Food Wise 2025

National Context

Chapter 3 - National Context

Strengths / Weaknesses / Opportunities / Threats

The Irish Agri-food industry comprises the primary agriculture, food and beverage, fisheries, fish processing, forestry and forestry processing sectors.  This industry is the main indigenous industry in Ireland, using Irish raw materials, being predominantly in Irish ownership and spread geographically widely across the country. These sectors combined make a very significant contribution to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the country.

The agri-food industry in Ireland currently provides employment for 163,000 people, with food and beverage manufacturing enterprises accounting for €26 billion of total turnover, comprising 26% of all manufacturing turnover and generating 12.7% of total merchandise exports. The sector accounts for 7.2% of Gross Value Added (GVA) at factor cost and 8.4% of total employment. At primary production level, some 140,000 farm families are involved in production of output valued at more than €7 billion. Together the beef and dairy sectors account for almost 70% of this output value.

A SWOT analysis identifies clear challenges and opportunities which must be addressed and supported so that strengths are enhanced and to create the environment for the industry to thrive.