By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Highest Food Safety Standards underpin the growth of the Irish Agrifood Industry

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today addressed the inaugural Food Safety Professional Associations Awards presentation ceremony in Dublin. The Minister pointed out that agriculture and the agri food sector is the largest indigenous industry in Ireland and that the importance of the sector has been well highlighted this week.

He referred to the expected increase in Irish food and drink exports to an all time record of €8.9 billion in 2011, an increase of more than 12%, or almost €1billion, on 2010 levels. "This follows growth of €700m in 2010 and overall then we will have seen 25% growth in exports from the sector in two years. This is a tremendous performance by any standards. The opportunity for the Irish agri food sector to continue on this growth path has been clearly identified in the Food Harvest 2020 Report against a background of surging population growth, changes in the dietary habits of developing economies and greater urbanisation".

Minister McEntee pointed out that the continued success of the industry depends ultimately on meeting consumer demands "an absolute prerequisite in this respect is food safety. Food safety is the foundation on which the industry can build other positive attributes such as the environmental sustainability and animal welfare friendly production. Irish food products already have an excellent reputation which we can continue to develop to maximise returns from a competitive market place".

The Minister pointed out that responsibility for food safety rests primarily with food business operators and commended the association in introducing these new awards designed as they are to encourage food businesses to reach for and maintain high standards of food safety.

Date Released: 23 September 2011