Ireland is renowned for its rich food heritage, with culinary traditions which draw on our natural ingredients and local produce. From cooking over an open fire in the distant past, to cooking in a modern kitchen today, Irish people have a long tradition of preparing and sharing food with family and friends. Recipes such as Irish stew, bacon and cabbage, colcannon, smoked salmon and Irish soda bread are firm favourites. Try them out for yourself: Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) have produced a recipe book for the Presidency.
Ireland owes its lush landscape to its green, wind-swept and rain washed fields and to its mild climate. This makes great farming possible. Ireland’s grass growth is among the best in Europe, and 60% of Irish land is used for agriculture.
Ireland has a network of almost 130,000 family-run farms, and the agricultural food sector supports 270,000 jobs primarily in rural communities. Our farming and fishing industries have been looked after by generation after generation of families who are passionate about their work, with a strong emphasis on food quality and traceability. Irish people have long benefited from high quality natural food.
Today Irish seafood, meat, dairy products and beverages are increasingly exported to the world’s tables:
Over the last two years, the value of Irish food and drink exports has increased by €1.8 billion (25%) to €8.85bn.
By 2020, the industry aims to increase this figure to €12 billion.
Today Ireland exports food and beverages to over 170 countries worldwide.
In the past decade Irish food producers have implemented strategies of innovation and differentiation to set them apart, not only strengthening their position in existing export markets, but also positioning them to diversify into new markets overseas.
Sustainability is at the heart of today’s Irish agri-food industry: recent research shows that the Irish dairy industry has among the lowest carbon footprints in Europe. Origin Green is an ongoing voluntary sustainability development programme which has attracted participation from a large swathe of Irish food and drink manufacturers. Irish producers are resourcefully adapting to changing consumer needs through modern business practices such as lowering emissions, conserving water and energy, and reducing waste. Ireland is good at producing food and aims to be a key part of the solution in meeting a new surge in global food demand in balance with the environmental challenges of climate change.
Check out out selection of Irish food video higlights.