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Wed 2nd Jul 2014
Food hospitality jobs double since 2012
 
The number of people working in the Irish food and hospitality business doubled between 2012 and 2013, with 6,200 full-time and 3,100 part-time personnel employed.
 
That's according to a new report, produced by Grant Thornton and Good Food Ireland (GFI), which surveyed over 600 food and hospitality businesses throughout Ireland.
 
Irish food and hospitality businesses experienced a 63pc increase in turnover since 2012 with the majority of those businesses (90pc) citing the need for increased marketing of food in tourism to sustain this growth in their business, according to the report, 'A Foreign Affair - an Ireland abroad experience' published today.
 
It found that 81pc of businesses expect an increase in earnings (profit) in 2014 (2013:88pc) and that 4 out of 5 achieved earnings expectations last year (2013: 4 out of 5).
 
Turnover of businesses is estimated at E638m for 2013 (up 63pc from E390m in 2012) while direct employment within the industry has increased to 9,300 in 2013 (up 58pc from 5,900 in 2012) and 90pc feel that local Irish food is an integral economic driver for their business.
 
Speaking about the report, Ciara Jackson, Head of Food and Beverage at Grant Thornton said the report clearly shows the strength in sustainable financial growth with a combined turnover across GFI members reaching E638 million last year.
"This is hugely encouraging for the sector and more than 95pc of members expect turnover to increase or remain static in this financial year. Even more importantly for the indigenous agri-food sector, more than 9 out of 10 GFI members have continued to increase their level of spend on Irish food. To maintain this momentum, GFI members anticipate an increased marketing spend and close promotion of food and tourism would increase revenues for these sectors as well as driving wider economic impact in associated sectors such as transport, recreation and accommodation," she said.
 
Margaret Jeffares, Founder of Good Food Ireland, said: "The timing has never been more right for our nation's two biggest truly indigenous sectors, food and tourism to work together in order to drive further growth for the economy. The idea behind a Gastrodiplomacy strategy1 facilitates a more creative approach for these industries to work together in a unique marketing way both at home and abroad for the benefit of Ireland's food image. Over the past 3 years of this research we have demonstrated the impact of marketing Ireland as a food tourism destination has had on the sector. The resounding message from GFI members is that local Irish food plays an integral role in Ireland's international reputation but that if all stakeholders of Ireland Inc collaborate even more closely and creatively at an international promotional level, we could drive further growth across the sectors, more efficiently and to the wider economy."