Meat Industry Ireland says Bord Bia Report shows resilience of meat sector as beef exports buck trend

January 12, 2024

Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the Ibec association representing primary beef, pork and lamb processing facilities, applauds the robust performance of the Irish meat industry as reflected in Bord Bia’s Export Performance and Prospects report for 2023/24.

Despite facing a complex global landscape, impacted by inflation and cost-of-living pressures, meat and livestock sector exports in 2023 delivered an export value of €4.2 billion for the year.

Beef exports contributed some €2.7 billion with a 2% increase in value, despite the challenging circumstances. In addition, the Prepared Consumer Food sector saw a remarkable 7% increase in value-added beef exports, amounting to €255 million, attesting to the sector's adaptability and innovation. Beef offals also showed positive growth with a 3% increase to €140 million.

While Irish sheepmeat exports faced a 7% decline in value, primarily due to a difficult trading environment and decreased lamb demand due to cost-of-living pressures, MII remains optimistic about stabilising export volumes in 2024, driven by a higher carryover of 2023-born sheep into processing. There were similar challenges for the pigmeat sector, while poultry exports performed well.

Commenting on the export performance of the meat sector, MII Director Dale Crammond said:

“In the face of a challenging global market, the Irish meat industry has demonstrated its consistent ability to adapt, resulting in a virtually unchanged export value rate when compared to the previous year. This is despite the fact that throughput was down in 2023. This is a clear vindication of the efforts of the sector in navigating a challenging set of circumstances to continue delivering high-quality products to international markets.

It is particularly notable that our beef exports were able to buck the trend of marginal value declines, while pigmeat and sheepmeat showcased resilience and promise for 2024. Our commitment to maintaining high standards and driving sustainable growth in the sector remains unwavering, and we look forward to overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities in the coming year. Finally, I want to acknowledge the role of our primary producer and suppliers who remain the bedrock of our industry.”