Enterprise Ireland is the agency under my aegis which helps companies throughout Ireland start and scale, innovate and remain competitive on international markets. Companies that Enterprise Ireland works with, including the agri-food sector, are a vital source of employment in every county in Ireland. Enterprise Ireland is also responsible for attracting overseas Food & Beverage companies into Ireland and for developing new Food & Beverage start-ups.
The Food sector is one of Enterprise Ireland’s key exporting sectors and employs in excess of 48,000 people throughout the country. In line with Enterprise Ireland’s development plan for the food industry, and the Foodwise 2025 Strategy led by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Enterprise Ireland is committed to working with Food and Beverage companies to help them to scale, be competitive and innovative, and to create sustainable jobs across every region in Ireland.
In 2015, IDA Ireland’s portfolio included five food ingredient companies, employing approximately 1200 people. Some of these companies carry out a diverse range of manufacturing, services and R&D activities serving global markets.
There are undoubtedly challenges globally, including Brexit, to the development of the Food Industry in Ireland. I am confident however, that the Agencies under my remit will continue to work closely with the sector, and that they will have a range of supports to offer, to ensure the industry remains competitive in export markets.