The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland has today released research which shows that Irish drinks exports are worth €1.4bn with the drinks manufacturing sector exporting 45% of its total turnover.
The data comes from the 2012 Census of Industrial Production (CIP), the most comprehensive official data source on the sector, published recently by the CSO. It shows that total investment by the sector was €118.4 million in 2012.
Tom Burke, senior executive at the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), which represents alcoholic drinks manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland commented: “From the micro-breweries setting up across the country, to the larger producers creating world-renowned Irish brands, the drinks manufacturing sector makes a significant contribution to the Irish economy.”
The sector employs close to 3,500 people across the country directly, supporting thousands of job indirectly and it makes a significant contribution to Ireland’s rural economy, with total purchases worth €1.7bn.
“This is an exciting sector that’s going through considerable development, with dozens of drinks manufacturers setting up shop across the country, including 21 whiskey distilleries is various stages of planning at the moment. This is leading the way for an Irish whiskey renaissance and a potential boost to the €1.4 bn export figure cited in the latest data,” Burke said.
“However, the ability of the sector to reach its full potential and achieve sustainable growth is being put at risk by the Government who have increased excise on alcohol in the last two budgets. Irish drinks manufacturers, such as the small whiskey producers, will be unable to sell their high-quality products in the home market, which will have a knock on effect on Irish farmers and publicans hoping to get a boost from the exciting developments in the sector.”
Tony Foley, economist at DCU and author of the report said: “The data released recently by the CSO illustrates just how important the drinks manufacturing sector is to the Irish economy. In total, the sector invested €118.4m in the Irish economy in 2012. Since then, we have seen large investments taking place across the sector, with Diageo announcing a €169m investment in a new brewery at St. James’s Gate and Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard announcing an investment of €200m in its Midleton Distillery and maturation facility in Cork last year.”