Food, drink sector vital for jobs, says Ibec
SOME 30,000 new jobs could be created by the Irish food and drink industry by 2020, according to a new report by Food and Drink Industry Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the food industry.
According to the report, Sharing the Harvest: the Food and Drink Sector Jobs Dividend, 230,000 people work in the sector, representing one in eight jobs.
The report argues that, in contrast to most other manufacturing industries in Ireland, the food and drink sector buys most of its inputs and services from within the Irish economy.
Some 76 per cent of the industry’s expenditure is spent in Ireland, compared to an average of 30 per cent for other manufacturing industries, according to the report.
“This reflects a strong Irish-based supply chain which is far more likely to retain jobs and investment per euro spent in the wider economy.”
The agri-food sector has a “substantial GNP-generating effect”, according to Food and Drink Industry Ireland, “retaining profits in Ireland unlike other sectors where profits are repatriated abroad”.
Commenting on the findings of the report, FDII director Paul Kelly said that Ireland’s food and drink sector “is deeply embedded in the Irish economy, which means that an increased focus on food will drive growth in the wider economy as well as in the sector itself”.
Highlighting the need for public policy to be aligned with the needs of the sector, he underlined the need for a sustainable supply of cost-competitive raw materials and the implementation of the proposed grocery code immediately following the enactment of primary legislation.
He also stated the imperative to influence the redevelopment of the EU state aid regime for the post-2013 period.