Skip the NI Direct Bar
Skip navigation

Report on the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Processing Sector

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has published its annual report, ‘Size and Performance of the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Processing Sector, Subsector Statistics’.
Friday, 29 July 2011

The report contains comprehensive data on the values of sales, exports, value added and number of employees for each of the ten constituent subsectors of the food and drinks processing sector in 2008 and 2009. These key statistics are supplemented with fifteen performance indicators for each subsector. Provisional estimates of sales and employment are also provided for 2010.

In addition, a time-series of data covering the period 1989 – 2009 (2010 where available) has been published on the DARD website for each of the main variables. These will enable users to consider trends over time in variables of interest to them.

Some of the report’s key findings include:

·The value of sales for the sector increased from £3,194 million in 2008 to £3,397 million in 2009; an increase of 6.4 per cent. Provisional estimates suggest sales increased by a further 8.3 per cent in 2010 to £3,680 million.

·In 2009, the food and drinks processing sector made the largest contribution to the sales (21.9 per cent), external sales (19.5 per cent), export sales (16.3 per cent), employment (27.4 per cent) and value added (14.8 per cent) of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector.

·The food and drinks processing sector contributed approximately 2.2 per cent of Northern Ireland’s total gross value added in 2009.

·In 2009 and 2010, the beef and sheepmeat and milk and milk products subsectors continued to be the two largest subsectors in terms of gross turnover, and accounted for 48.3 per cent and 48.7 per cent of the sector’s total gross turnover in these years respectively.

·From 1989 until 2003, the domestic market was continuously recorded as the most important for the sector. However, since 2004, the Great Britain market has become increasingly more important; this trend has continued into 2009, when Great Britain accounted for 42.3 per cent of the sector’s sales.

·All ten of the food and drinks subsectors traded profitably in 2009.

·Between 2008 and 2009, the total number of employees in the sector increased from 19,149 to 19,464 full-time employee equivalents. Employment further increased in 2010, to 19,685 full-time employee equivalents.

Notes to editors:

1. This statistical press release relates to the annual report “Size and Performance of the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Processing Sector, Subsector Statistics 2009, with provisional estimates for 2010.”

2. The report and time-series data from 1989 – 2009/2010, may be downloaded free of charge from the DARD website.

3. If a hard copy of the report is required, it may be obtained, price £6 including postage and packaging, from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Policy and Economics Division, Room 656, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road, Ballymiscaw, Belfast BT4 3SB.

4.For media enquiries please contact DARD Press Office 028 9052 4619 or pressoffice.group@dardni.gov.uk Out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned