NI food and drink will grow further with right support – NIFDA

NI food and drink will grow further with right support – NIFDA

The latest DAERA statistics on the NI food and drink processing sector show signs of optimism. Michael Bell, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) said:

“The figures once again emphasise the importance of food and drink to the Northern Ireland economy. It remains the largest manufacturing sector locally, employing tens of thousands of people and accounting for 30% of all manufacturing employment in Northern Ireland. The sector continues to add value to our economy, with the statistics showing that the value added by food and drink to the Northern Ireland economy increased by 7% to £998 million in 2019.

“While the sector remains strong, we should not underestimate the challenges the industry faces both now and in the near future. Brexit, recruitment difficulties, new food strategies from government and of course recovery from the pandemic are all major issues the industry is grappling with.

“These challenges bring with them opportunities, and with the right support Northern Ireland food and drink can continue to grow for the future. We need a value adding food marketing body and financial support to allow further investment in innovation and automation.

“As the statistics demonstrate, food and drink remains one of Northern Ireland’s major economic assets. We have the potential to grow even further, create even more sustainable jobs and secure Northern Ireland’s economic recovery from Covid-19. With the right support we will deliver.”

The Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Processing Report 2019 can be viewed on the DAERA website