Statistics show the value of NI food and drink sector

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has published its annual publication, ‘Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Processing Report’ previously known as ‘Size and Performance of the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Processing Sector, Subsector Statistics’.

The report’s key findings are:

* The total gross turnover of the Northern Ireland food and drinks processing sector is estimated to have increased by 4 per cent in 2019 to £5,365 million. Provisional estimates for 2020 project a 1 per cent increase to £5,413 million.

* The estimated number of direct full-time employee equivalents (FTEs) in the sector increased by 3 per cent to 24,945 FTEs in 2019. Provisional estimates for 2020 project a slight increase to 24,984 FTEs.

* The value added by the sector to the Northern Ireland economy increased by 7 per cent to £998 million in 2019.

* Between 2018 and 2019 the sectors sales increased to Great Britain (+£30m), to Ireland (+£67m) and to Other Countries outside the EU (+£180m). Sales decreased within Northern Ireland (-£53m) and to Other EU Countries (-£31m). Great Britain remains the sector’s largest market accounting for 48 per cent of sales in 2019; a decrease from 49 per cent in 2018.

* The food and drinks sector contributed 36.8 per cent to total manufacturing sales in 2019, an increase from 35.3 per cent in 2018. The sector accounted for 38.9 per cent of manufacturing external sales in 2019 and 24.4 per cent of export sales.

* The sector’s contribution to total Northern Ireland GVA has remained the same at just over 2 per cent. The contribution to manufacturing GVA increased from 20 per cent in 2018 to 22 per cent in 2019.

* The sector’s contribution to total manufacturing employment increased from 29 per cent to 30 per cent between 2018 and 2019.