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Sectoral Strength: Agriculture

A fertile environment for connection and collaboration within a flourishing sector

A booming industry

Over 80% of agricultural land is covered in Ireland's signature rich, green grass

Group of people sitting around a table full of food

Our nation has traditionally been known as the Emerald Isle for good reason — it more than lives up to the name thanks to its fertile soil, temperate climate and abundant rainfall. These ideal conditions also explain why agriculture has become one of Ireland’s most important indigenous manufacturing sectors.

Today, Irish food and drink thrives on the global stage, with our homegrown industry exporting to 180 countries worldwide. Ireland’s increasing impact in this sector is proven by Food Wise 2025, which anticipates an 85% increase in the value of our exports along with a 65% increase in the value of primary production.

Learn more in our Sectoral Strengths digital flipbook

Did you know?

Ireland’s SMEs are number one in the EU for innovation

Ireland’s reputation for quality and modernisation has resulted in a thriving agri-tech sector — leading the way in smart farming through robotics, AI, IoT (Internet of Things), improving yields, increasing efficiency, minimising waste, and therefore enhancing sustainability and profitability. 

Ireland is also the world’s first country to implement a national food and drink sustainability programme (Origin Green) for agriculture and food, making its agriculture sector the most sustainable in the world. Origin Green unites the government, private sector and the supply chain — from farmers to food producers, right through to the foodservice and retail sectors.

Fact file

  • Ireland has one of the world’s most integrated animal databases, making us a global leader in animal genetics, a vital area for sustainability in the beef industry.
  • Ireland is home to the world’s first carbon neutral beef farm — Devenish’s Research Farm — which is located in Dowth, County Meath.
  • Ninety percent of Irish beef is exported, making Ireland the largest beef exporter in the EU and fifth largest in the world, according to Enterprise Ireland.Ireland produces enough food to feed seven times its population, according to a report from Bloomberg.
  • ​Ireland is the third largest fund jurisdiction in the world, with 4.2 trillion of assets under administration here.
  • Dublin is the European base for FC4S (International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability).

A national community

Ireland's forward-thinking agri-food network stretches from coast to coast

There is incredible passion countrywide within this vibrant sector for development, with research and development (R&D) funded by the Irish Government and backed by our world-class agricultural science and technology universities.

Highlights include: 

  • Cork, the second biggest city in Ireland and biggest county, is one of the leaders in the Irish agriculture sector, home to 25% of the National Dairy Herd as well as research institutions like Moorepark and University College Cork.  

  • In 2017, a new agri-tech R&D centre of excellence was opened at Tralee Institute of Technology, positioning Kerry as the national leader in the sector, as well as enhancing the county’s international reputation for agri-tech.  

  • ​Ireland’s universities with offerings for both science and technology rank second in the globe for agricultural sciences.

Company spotlight

Selected success stories from the sector

  • Alltech KEENAN provides precision diet feeding technology to optimally mix and prepare feed for maximum animal performance.

  • Dairymaster is an internationally acclaimed manufacturer of superior, hi-tech dairy equipment.   

  • Glanbia is a global nutrition group dedicated to delivering better nutrition for every step of life’s journey, exporting to over 100 countries.  

  • Herdwatch is the market-leading herd app, used on over 12,000 farms. 

  • Kerry Group is a leading provider of technology-based ingredients and solutions for all sectors of the food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets. 

  • McHale is an Irish family business, specialising in balers and bale wrappers, operating in over 50 countries globally.

Key industry links

Sources of information and support at your fingertips

Planning your next corporate meeting, conference, or incentive trip in Ireland means a wealth of connections, collaboration, and creativity, set against the backdrop of a spectacular island experience. Here are some key sources of information.

Professional associations

Research centres and academia

Let the unrivalled knowledge centres in Ireland attract delegates from around the globe. 

Your building blocks for success

The Meet in Ireland Team are ready to help

Your building blocks for success

With over 1,000 high growth multinational companies choosing Ireland as their strategic European base, as well as seven universities, numerous teaching hospitals and research centres, we are in a strong position to shape the content of your most successful conference yet.

Let Meet in Ireland assist you with recommendations on regional destinations in Ireland based on sector strengths and make introductions to industry and academic leaders or economic development agencies. We can also assist with financial support. Contact us today for more advice.

Find out more in our Agriculture Sectoral Strengths flipbook.

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