Exports of agri-food products from Ireland to the 26 EU countries has grown by 26% in value in recent years, from €3.8 billion in 2016 to €4.75 billion in 2019. Dairy products, at €1.76 billion in 2019, are our largest export and have increased in value by almost 50% since 2016. Final year-end figures for 2020 will be available in mid February.
I consider that there is significant room for further growth in Irish agri-food products to EU markets. While Europe's overall food demand is not forecast to increasing dramatically due to stable or falling populations, these are stable, affluent markets which are well placed to appreciate our premium quality food and drink offering.
Along with my colleague Minister of State Martin Heydon, I will be supporting Bord Bia's engagement with key retail and food service customers in key markets during 2021.