Exports by Enterprise Ireland-backed food companies increased by 6% in 2021.

The food exports accounted for over €12.91bn or 47% of the total exports from Enterprise Ireland-backed companies across the whole economy.

The Government agency said on Tuesday that 2021 "was highest ever level of growth for Enterprise Ireland-backed companies in export value" with an increase in value of 12% seen.

It reported that exports to the Eurozone were up by 10% last year, totalling €6.04bn and accounting for over one-fifth (22%) of total exports.

Economic contribution

Enterprise Ireland said that its clients last year contributed €31bn to the domestic economy.

Despite the uncertainty caused by the changed trading relationship between the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, exports to this market totalled €8.43bn. The Government agency said this “marks a rise of 15% and the UK accounts for almost one-third (31%) of our export trade”.

Other large markets for Enterprise Ireland supported companies include North America, which saw a 14% increase, bringing total exports to €4.87bn.

“This important market, our third largest, now accounts for 18% of total exports from Enterprise Ireland supported companies,” it said.

Speaking on the publication of the export results, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “It is quite remarkable that despite the headwinds we faced last year, not least the realisation of Brexit and the continuing effects of the pandemic, Irish business managed to have a record year for exports - 12% up on the previous year.”

Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy said: “While the UK remains our largest trading partner, it is good to see that our strategy to grow exports in other key markets, especially the Eurozone, continues to pay dividends.”

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