Ireland has a long-standing and well-established reputation as a trading nation, with the food sector occupying an important role among both imports and exports.
The North Atlantic island exports large quantities of beef, milk and seafood – the total food and live animals exports in 2015 were over €9.85 billion but the imports are also constantly rising, reaching €6.65 billion in the same year.
In the meat sector, around 60% of pig meat and close to 90% of chicken sold at foodservice level was imported, offering an important opportunity for producers, especially from South America or Asia.
Other important sectors that can prove attractive for exporters are the cereals an cereal preparations sector, the beverages and the coffee, tea and cocoa one.
Cereals and produce imports were also higher than €1 billion each, while coffee, tea, cocoa and spices imports were around €543 million.
Ireland also imported large quantities of dairy products and eggs in 2015 – worth more than €958 million, and analysts also expect an increase in this segment.
There are many factors that make Ireland an attractive export market: the country is a member of the European Union and the WTO, has a strong transport infrastructure, an educated consumer market, a solid and reliable legal framework and the language barrier is also almost non-existent for English speaking businessmen.