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Report on the Northern Ireland food and drinks processing sector

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has published the report, ‘Size and Performance of the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Processing Sector, Ten Years Statistics, 2000 to 2009’.
Friday, 2 December 2011

The report contains summary data on the values of sales, exports, value added and the number of employees for each of the ten constituent subsectors of the food and drinks processing sector over the period from 2000 to 2009 inclusive.

Some of the report’s key findings include:

  • The value of sales of the food and drinks processing sector increased from £2,149million in 2000 to £3,397million in 2009. When the effect of inflation is removed, sales of the food and drinks processing sector increased on average by 3.2% per year during this period. The comparable figure for the manufacturing industry is an average annual increase of 0.3%.
  • The majority (85%) of the increase in gross turnover was generated by the beef and sheepmeat, poultrymeat, milk and milk products and bakeries subsectors.
  • The beef and sheepmeat and milk and milk products subsectors were the two largest contributors to total gross turnover throughout the ten year period.
  • The poultrymeat subsector recorded the highest rate of growth in gross turnover between 2000 and 2009 (+111%). It increased its contribution to the sector’s total gross turnover from 13% to 18%.
  • The sector’s growth in gross turnover between 2000 and 2009 was derived from strong growth in sales to external markets (i.e. sales to markets outside of Northern Ireland). External sales more than doubled during the period, from £1,170million in 2000 to £2,377million in 2009. From 2004 onwards, Great Britain was the most important sales destination for the sector.
  • Export sales (i.e. sales to markets outside of the United Kingdom) increased from £420million in 2000 to £931 million in 2009; an increase of 122%. The Republic of Ireland was the largest export market throughout the period 2000 to 2009.
  • Between 2000 and 2009, the total number of employees on the sector’s payrolls increased by 3.1%, to 19,464 full-time employee equivalents. The poultrymeat subsector was the largest employer throughout the period.

Notes to editors:

  1. This statistical press release relates to the report “Size and Performance of the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Processing Sector, Ten Years Statistics, 2000 to 2009.”
  2. The report and time-series data from 1989 – 2009 (2010 where data is available), 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 office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.