“Between January and July in 2015 exports of food including meat, cereal and fish have all increased compared to the same period last year. This is a strong indication of the quality of the produce here in Ireland, but it is also a vote of confidence for rural communities where the majority of our food comes from.
“This Government has prioritised growing the export market through various trade missions where Irish food and food producers have been promoted across the globe. New markets like China and the US have opened up for meat producers, and Irish food has become synonymous with quality.
“There is no doubt that there is a demand out there for high quality Irish products; this is where our farmers and other food manufacturers excel.
“Fine Gael has supported the growth of food exports and a strategic ten year plan is in place to continue to connect local producers to markets around the world. While the growth we have seen so far is extremely positive and very much to be welcomed, we know that the potential is there to expand further.
“Rural Ireland is at the core of food production and is driving growth in exportation. We are very lucky to have so many vibrant and entrepreneurial people working the land, producing food and marketing products.
“I am confident that with continued support, and as rural Ireland benefits further from the economic recovery, this area of the export market can continue to grow and thrive.”