A new division of Food Harvest 2020 has been created which has a direct emphasis on driving growth in the consumer foods sector.

Announcing the new division, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said he has established a group to “identify the actions needed to maximise the contribution of the prepared consumer foods sector”.

The board will be made up of some of the largest consumer food brands in the country and will be chaired by IDA chairman and former Enterprise Ireland chief, Frank Ryan.

Others sitting on the board include Maurice Hickey from Largo Foods, Vincent Carton from Carton Brothers, Colin Gordon from Glanbia Foods, Jim McNeill from Kelloggs and Justin Cook managing director of Mondelez Ireland.

Consumer foods have taken on added significance in recent years and the Food Harvest 2020 report set a target of 40% growth in the added value output of the food and beverage sector.

Minister Coveney said the consumer foods section of the food sector is a real “driver” of growth.

“Food Harvest sets an ambitious target of €3 billion in additional output in the value added sector. This level of ambition is fully justified because the sector is a significant growth area. Prepared consumer foods are a real driver of that dynamic, both in volume and value terms, with significant potential for employment creation and growth in the domestic economy and in exports,” Minister Coveney said.