Agriculture Innovation Driving Growth for Ireland’s Food Industry

March 2, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015

DUBLIN – The annual World Food Technology and Innovation Forum takes place in Dublin this week and promises to provide Irish companies with opportunities for the development in that sector.

Leaders in food research and development, food innovation and new product development will take part in the Enterprise Ireland (EI) sponsored forum that hopes to enable international food companies, research groups, food producers to “share information and debate the issues shaping the future of the global food industry,” said EI in a statement. 

“Ireland has hugely ambitious targets for Food Harvest 2020 as part of our national vision for the food industry, in which we want to generate 1 billion euro of new value added exports. These targets cannot be achieved without successfully turning our international strengths into new products for growing global markets,” said Mr Joe Healy, Enterprise Ireland Food Division Manager at the launch.

EI expects the dairy sector in Ireland to increase milk supply by 50 per cent before 2020, which they say represents “a tremendous opportunity”. 
For the past decade Ireland has been busy distancing the country from its agricultural past and reinventing ourselves as a high tech, financial centre. However, the re-invigoration of the agriculture sector based on higher food demands may aid Ireland’s quicker recovery.

According to EI, one of the most significant Irish industry-led research in the food sector is the partnership between four of Ireland’s leading dairy companies to research how the natural properties of milk can be extracted and used to deliver health benefits for consumers. “The Food for Health Ireland Technology Centre has received 20 million euro in funding from Enterprise Ireland since it was established in 2008,” said EI. 

According to Joe Healy, ‘It is encouraging to see the progress already made by the dairy companies collaborating in this research centre. By agreeing to work together to develop a strategy for their sector, these companies have identified a range of high-value products that when brought to the international marketplace will lead to increased exports and create employment in the food sector.”

For more information on the World Food Technology & Innovation Forum visit the website on