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Minister Announces Publication of Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 2008/2009

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today announced the web publication of the Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 2008/2009. The Minister took the opportunity to note that "the statistics described in the report provides a timely and accurate indication of the importance of the agri-food sector to our economy with the sector accounting for 6.6% of GDP, 8.5% of employment, and €8.1 billion in exports".

The indigenous strengths and nature of the sector is evident from the report which shows that Irish raw materials and services account for a significantly higher proportion of expenditure within the food and drink sector (70%) than for the manufacturing sectors as a whole.  Moreover, 44% of food and drinks companies are located in the BMW regions compared with 30% of other manufacturing industries. In addition, the report shows that the wider "biosector" contributes approximately one-third of the net flow of funds into the economy generated by manufacturing exports.

The Minister also highlighted the significant benefits that the Irish agri-food sector continues to derive from EU membership and from participation in the CAP; "the combined net budgetary and trade effects from participation in the CAP in 2008 were estimated at over €1.8 billion".

The Minister concluded by saying that "the Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 2008/2009 is a comprehensive and valuable report, detailing the performance of the agri-food sector and providing a range of useful statistical data and analysis of the sector".

The report is available in both English and Irish on the Department's website at:

Date Released: 05 June 2009