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Agrifood Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 1 July 2015

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Ceisteanna (127)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

127. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which the numbers employed in the agrifood industry continue to remain constant or have increased in recent years; if he is satisfied with the future prospects of the sector in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26652/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The CSO's recently published Quarterly National Household Survey (Quarter 1 2015) showed that employment in the agri-food sector overall, and in its component parts, has reached 163,000 up from 145,500 at end 2009. Based on the latest data, this sector represents circa 8.4% of national employment.

The CSO figures are based on sample surveys and some stability in their figures has been evident in recent quarters following the introduction of new samples post-Census 2011. The positive CSO employment results above are borne out by annual surveys which Enterprise Ireland and BIM carry out on all their food industry clients. These provide an accurate assessment of company employment trends since 2009 and show that employment levels for EI food and beverage client companies rose from 38,784 at end 2009 to 42,212 in 2013, while employment for BIM seafood processing clients also rose by 450 in the same period.

I appointed a 2025 Agri-Food Strategy Committee late last year to devise a strategy for the continued development of the sector to 2025. The Committee submitted its report to me at the end of last month with key recommendations and actions it considers necessary to allow us set ever more challenging goals for the longer term. I am planning to launch the report tomorrow.

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