Image of Harry Avery's Castle, Northern Ireland

Food and drink

Pure, natural, quality

Food and Drink is a £5.4 billion industry in Northern Ireland and is the region’s largest manufacturer. Our success is down to our pure, lush countryside, and farmers and producers who are dedicated to traceability and passionate about quality.

It’s a progressive industry based on family farms and fishing businesses, as well as award-winning enterprising food and drink producers, focused on original products.

Northern Ireland boasts high-quality raw ingredients, state-of-the-art processing facilities and a world-class food security record which major retailers demand. Our award-winning food and drink comes with full traceability from farm to fork.

We're passionate about our food and want to share that passion with you!

Find out more information about Northern Ireland food and drink and a directory of suppliers

  • Agri-Food is Northern Ireland's largest manufacturing industry.

  • Northern Ireland is a world leader in traceability and food security. We created APHIS, an electronic cattle tracing database.

  • Northern Ireland developed the world-leading Food Fortress - a collaboration between businesses and academia, committed to the highest standards of safety and security in our food chain.

  • We sell food and drink products to over 70 worldwide.

Areas of expertise

Meat

Area of sector expertise

  • Beef & sheepmeat
  • Poultrymeat
  • Pigmeat
  • Fish
  • Production of primal and retail products such as steaks, burgers, bacon, joints, chicken and fish for supply to retail multiples and the foodservice sector locally and internationally.
  • World-class traceability and food security.
  • Pure, lush countryside, and farmers and producers dedicated to traceability, passionate about quality, with world-leading standards of animal welfare.

Dairy

Area of sector expertise

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Production of milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, powders and other products for supply to retail multiples and foodservice sector locally and internationally.
  • World-class traceability and food security.
  • Pure, lush countryside, and farmers and producers who are dedicated to traceability, passionate about quality, and have world-leading standards of animal welfare

Drinks

Area of sector expertise

  • Spirits
  • Beers, ciders & RTD's
  • Soft drinks
  • Tea & coffee
  • We produce a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including Irish whiskey, gin, vodka, poitín, beer, cider, tea, coffee, juices, water and soft drinks.
  • Our Irish whiskey production is in the midst of a vibrant renaissance, growing from one distillery a decade ago to nearly 10 functioning distilleries and more in development.
  • The world-class quality of drinks produced in Northern Ireland has been recognised through multiple global awards across all categories.

Other

Area of sector expertise

  • Bakery
  • Fruit & veg
  • Animal feeds
  • Horticulture
  • Packaging
  • We produce a diverse range of quality products, from baked goods to pre-prepared mash and vegetables and from tailored animal feeds to the finest cut flowers.
  • Northern Ireland boasts high-quality raw ingredients, state-of-the-art processing facilities and the world-class food security record, which major retailers demand.
  • Our food and drink regularly features in global awards for outstanding taste.
  • The processing industry is the largest manufacturing industry in Northern Ireland, accounting for 37% of manufacturing sales.

  • There are almost 25,000 direct employees (full-time equivalent) in the food and drinks processing sector

  • 29% of total sales from the food and drinks processing sector are to export markets

  • The largest subsectors are beef and sheepmeat, milk and milk products and poultry, which together account for 63% of the sector's turnover

Access to world-class research centres of excellence

Northern Ireland is home to a number of centres of excellence undertaking industrially relevant research and channelling university expertise into the development of sophisticated products and processes to assist the growth of companies in our food and drink sector.

These include:

Northern Ireland for foreign direct investment

Northern Ireland is an attractive place for investment in the food and drink sector thanks to a combination of factors including skills availability, excellent infrastructure, cost-effectiveness and a supportive business environment. To find out more, visit our Invest in Northern Ireland section.

Please get in touch.  You can find a team in your region or fill in an enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.

For information on how we use your personal data including your rights, see our privacy notice.

Connect with a member of our Food team on LinkedIn.

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