Irish Food and drink exports increased by 13% to hit a record high of €12.6b (£11.2b) in 2017, according to the minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Michael Creed.
Speaking at the launch of Irish Food Board Bord Bia's Export Performance and Prospects 2017-2018 report he said 2017 marked the eighth successive year of growth for exports.
Bord Bia credited the rise to a 19% surge in dairy exports to more than â¬4b (£3.6b), an increase in Irish beef sales - up 5% to almost â¬2.5b (£2.2b), a 17% rise in prepared food exports to â¬2.2b (£2b) and beverage exports which were up 8% to â¬1.5b (£1.3b), compared to the same period a year prior.
Shipments of Irish food and drink to international markets grew by 17% to exceed â¬4b (£3.6b) for the first time, driven by strong sales of dairy products in North America, Africa and Asia, and the strong performance of beverage sales in North America.
Dairy accounted for 45% of all sales to international markets, while beverages represented 19%.
Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said: "While Brexit remains the great unknown, we still expect 2018 to be another year of growth, albeit at lower levels.
"Our key export categories, dairy and beef, remain stable with further volume growth anticipated. This coupled with the significant opportunities evident in beverages, in particular Irish whiskey, provide further reasoning for the positive outlook."
Videos from The Caterer archives