Irish Horticulture Exports Rise
Ireland is one of the world’s leading exporters of horticulture and has recently experienced an unprecedented surge in exports of the sector, signaling growth in the region. This article will explore the factors behind this rise in exports, and how it benefits both the Irish economy and international consumers.
Increased Demand Abroad
One of the main reasons for the increase in Irish exports is the growing demand abroad for horticulture produce sourced in Ireland. This demand is driven by a number of factors, including the country’s reputation for producing fresh, high-quality veggies and fruits, as well as its strategic location to many other major horticultural markets. This increased demand has driven an increase in orders from foreign consumers, allowing Irish suppliers to ship out more produce at a high rate of speed.
Modern Line of Technologies
A central factor in Ireland’s rise as a horticulture exporting nation is a wave of modern technologies adopted by large-scale producers. Irish farmers have begun using modern line of technologies in their operations, including strategies like environment management systems, GIS mapping, and precision cultivation. These systems have allowed producers to increase their efficiency and reduce costs, allowing them to offer competitive prices to international buyers.
The Brexit crisis has also had an influence on the growth of Irish horticulture exports. As the UK’s trading relationship with Europe has become uncertain, many Irish producers have seen an increase in the demand for their produce. This has given the Irish sector an economic boost, as many of these businesses are now exporting more than ever before.
The Irish government has implemented sensible tax policies that encourage foreign buyers to source their produce from the Irish sector. This includes incentives like lowered import taxes and favourable exchange rates, which make pricing for international customers more attractive. These policies have paid off, allowing Irish producers to benefit from higher demand abroad.
Sustainability is another driving force behind the rise in exports. Irish companies have adopted a variety of sustainable practices, such as water conservation measures and waste reduction initiatives. This has helped the industry specialise in eco-friendly solutions, attracting a large number of foreign consumers.
Pick of the Crop
Irish producers are renowned for the quality of their produce. Encouragingly, the picking of the crop has been improved in recent years, with producers focusing on quality rather than quantity. The result is produce which is fresher and of higher quality, offering superior flavour and nutritional content.
The Irish horticulture sector has also embraced organic production practices more broadly in the past few years. This has allowed producers to export produce of a higher standard, which appeals to a range of international buyers. This trend is expected to continue, which will bring even more benefits for the Irish economy.
Innovative packaging has had a noticeable impact on Ireland’s horticulture exports. With improved methods of packaging and shipping, producers have been able to transport goods across the world in a more efficient manner. This has allowed Irish suppliers to reduce their costs and increase the shelf life of their produce.
Despite the steady rise in Irish horticulture exports, there has been some competition in the sector. Countries such as Spain and the Netherlands have significantly boosted their own exports, and are amongst the most popular destinations for produce bought abroad. As such, Ireland must work hard to differentiate its offer to remain ahead of the competition.
The rise in Irish horticulture exports has been a positive development for the sector, and offers many potential benefits for both Ireland and international customers. Increased demand abroad has played a key role in the growth of exports, as has the implementation of a favourable tax structure by the Irish government. On top of this, advancements in technology and sustainable production methods, combined with the pick of the crop and innovative packaging techniques, have all contributed to this rise. Although there are various forms of competition, Ireland’s horticulture sector appears to be on the right track in terms of increased export growth.
The horticulture industry of Ireland is growing in its export market, positioning itself as a major player in Europe and beyond.
Recent data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that in 2020, Irish horticulture exports were valued at €922 million, an 8% increase on the previous year.
This strong performance was largely driven by vegetable exports, where growers saw a boost of 20% in the value of exports compared to the previous year.
Potato exports were a particularly strong force, increasing by 25% year on year to represent a total of €232 million.
The surge in vegetable exports has been attributed to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. With restaurant closures driving increased demand for horticulture products at retail, both domestic and international demand increased greatly.
Demand for fruit exports also increased, albeit at a slower rate. Apples, raspberries and strawberries all saw increases in their export value, though the volume of exports decreased year on year due to the disruption of airfreight by the pandemic.
The performance of the horticulture sector is a key contributor to Ireland’s agri-food export markets, with horticulture comprising 13% of the total agri-food exports in 2020.
The latest figures are just the latest sign of the strong performance of the industry, and mark a promising start to 2021.
With strong domestic demand, coupled with increasing international demand, the future looks bright for the Irish horticulture sector.