Brexit cost Irish food and drink industry €570m last year, says Bord Bia

The weakened sterling was bad news for exporters...

Bord Bia has calculated that the fall in the value of sterling following the UK's Brexit vote cost Irish food and drink exporters €570m in 2016.

Food and drink sales to the UK fell by 8% in value during the year, principally due to the weaker British currency.

Its annual Export Review and Prospects Report contains warnings that pressure will remain on exports of prepared food, with the British market set to be equally challenging in 2017.

Overall, the value of Irish food and drink exports grew by 2% last year to just over €11bn. It was the seventh consecutive year of growth.

Despite this positive picture overall, certain businesses have been badly hit by the situation across the Irish Sea. Cheese exports to Britain account for half of the Irish sector and suffered a double-digit decline. Mushroom exports, meanwhile, were extremely badly hit. 

The Irish food and drink industry was reliant on the UK for 41% of its export business in 2015. That has now fallen to 37%.