The beef sector not only accounts for 80,000 jobs and incomes at farm and processing level but the spending on associated farm inputs and livestock trading is almost entirely focused on the Irish economy. Irish economy spend by beef farmers and the processing sector amounts to almost €3.1bn when account is taken of EU and national government direct payments in the sector. This level of domestic spend has a huge multiplier effect in the overall economy and this is a key part of the sector’s importance to regional development which is where the contribution of the sector is at its most visible.
A key element of success has been the transformation of the Irish beef processing industry from a frozen commodity business in the early 2000’s to a key fresh food supplier to blue-chip retail and food service customers across the UK and Europe. This increased value-add has resulted in substantial increases in finished cattle prices over this period.