- 03 October 2012
Minister Coveney with two of the members of his Departments Food Harvest 2020 High Level Implementation Committee, Julie Sinnamon - Enterprise Ireland and Aidan Cotter - Bord Bia
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney today launched ‘Milestones for Success 2012’, a report on the progress achieved in the two years since Food Harvest 2020 was published. The Minister also revealed that a new report estimates that achieving the Food Harvest targets could deliver 25,000 new jobs. This positive employment story is borne out by the recent report of a working group, established by the Food Harvest implementation committee.
Minister Coveney said:
"This report showcases a confident and ambitious sector which is dynamic, outward looking and has achieved real growth over the last 2 years despite a difficult and volatile global environment. I am heartened to see the upturn in CSO estimates of employment in the food and beverage manufacturing sector which rose from 43,900 in 2010 to 50,300 in 2012."
Minister Coveney emphasised that the agri-food and fishing sector continues to be one of the cornerstones of national export recovery. In 2011, agri-food exports were valued at €8.84 billion, a 12% increase on the previous year. Volume growth was achieved in key categories such as dairy, beverages and pigmeat and this contributed to higher farm incomes.
The Minister added:
"None of this growth was easily achieved and it is credit to the all those working in the sector. This year is already proving to be a more challenging one and therefore we should never underestimate the challenges that can emerge without warning from climate or global market conditions, for example."
The Minister pointed out that the report also illustrates the progress achieved to date on the main growth targets:
"We have already achieved a 19% increase in the value of primary production against the 33% projected target for 2020, while exports have already reached 10% of the planned 42% growth by 2020."