GFI Press Release - Research Shows Food Sector Pivotal in Irish Tourism


Mon 23rd Apr 2012

Monday, April 23rd 2012

New Research shows food sector pivotal in Irish Tourism and Export Growth 

A new report Food: The secret ingredient to Irish tourism and Export Growth released today (23rd April) by Good Food Ireland and Grant Thornton, highlights the importance of linking food with tourism to create new market opportunities driving demand for Irish food and the tourism hospitality sector.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Margaret Jeffares Founder and MD of Good Food Ireland said: “Food experience has a strategic role to play in positioning tourism and export growth. The findings of the report have reinforced the Good Food Ireland vision around the importance of local food in delivering economic opportunity through authentic experience. Given our current economic situation, I cannot stress enough the importance of buying local, eating local and thinking local when it comes to food and tourism.”

Amongst the key findings of the report on the importance of linking food with tourism to drive tourism growth and subsequently the demand for Irish food both at home and abroad:

• 100% of Good Food Ireland Approved Providers surveyed agree that local Irish food should be an integral part of Ireland’s international tourism marketing.

• Four out of every five support the view that local Irish food is a strong economic driver for their business, with almost 90% of the opinion that marketing of food tourism is important for sustaining business growth.

• Through increased marketing and awareness of sourcing, 92% of Good Food Ireland Approved Providers have increased their purchasing of Irish food over the last three years: creating greater markets for farmers, food producers and fishermen and delivering for the hospitality sector increased economic growth through the awareness of delivering an authentic Irish food experience.

On the wider economic environment facing food and hospitality businesses in Ireland, the survey yielded some positive results:

• Despite challenging and economic trading conditions, two out of every three Good Food Ireland Approved Providers met earnings expectations in 2011 and 4 out of 5 of them expect growth in 2012.

• Of those surveyed, 24% are currently exporting, and within that group, 53% have plans to target new markets. A further 17% have plans to export in the future.

• Unsurprisingly, access to finance and increased operating and raw material costs, as well as weaker domestic demand, have been highlighted as significant challenges by business owners.

• Almost 70% were unaware that they may be entitled to claim Research and Development (R&D) tax credits

• Good Food Ireland Approved Providers contribute in the region of €50million to the Irish economy through their purchasing of Irish produce.

Ciara Jackson, Head of Food and Beverage with Grant Thornton Ireland, said: We are excited by the strength of the economic link created where high quality food produce strengthen brands, which in turn attracts tourists, all of which helps to sustain and grow business. Leveraging Irishness is a route to growing earnings. The robust financial performance of Good Food Ireland Approved Providers versus the international data highlights the economic opportunity of this link.”
The objective of the report was to establish the importance of Irish food as an economic driver, analyse business needs and challenges and collate insights on emerging trends in the sector.  It also reinforces the link between Irish food and tourism. To coincide with the report, Good Food Ireland in association with Grant Thornton is holding a series of Regional Conferences to help food and hospitality businesses expand their customer reach and grow commercial opportunity through Good Food Ireland’s dedicated marketing platforms.

For further press information please contact Deirdre Kehoe, Good Food Ireland
on 086-045 2668 or email or Patrick Donohoe, Hume Brophy on behalf of Grant Thornton – 086 029 3726


Notes to Editor:

About Good Food Ireland:
Good Food Ireland is a non-governmental, industry group founded by Margaret Jeffares in November 2006, based on her farm in Co. Wexford. Good Food Ireland identified a major gap in the market linking food with tourism so that food could be marketed as an economic driver for visitors to Ireland, delivering authentic food experiences and thus increasing the market opportunity for Irish food. It set about developing a consumer brand with criteria based around a core commitment to using locally produced food, high product quality and service standards. Through Good Food Ireland, Margaret put in place a strong industry steering group and forged links with key stakeholders including government agencies, media and international tour operators.

Today Good Food Ireland markets over 500 Approved Providers comprising of B&B’s to 5-star hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes, cookery schools, food shops, food producers and farmers markets. It has also firmly established a strong domestic and international customer base by connecting its Approved Providers with growing consumer demand. In its on-going goal to promote Ireland as a food tourism destination, Good Food Ireland delivers value added service as a food destination resource putting ingredient led Irish cuisine at every point from farm to table on the map. Good Food Ireland is the leading community “for everyone who simply loves good food”. For more information visit

About Grant Thornton Ireland:
Grant Thornton provides assurance, tax and specialist advice to businesses to help them grow. Grant Thornton has significant experience in the food and beverage sector from the farm gate through to processing and retail. Our experience means that we can readily identify the critical issues affecting your business and then quickly provide specific solutions. The firm comprises over 400 partners and staff operating from offices in Dublin, Limerick, Kildare and Galway.

Our global network
Grant Thornton Ireland is a member of one of the world’s leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms. Whether the business is a large corporation or a dynamic and growing privately held business, we work with businesses and stakeholders to help them achieve their goals with our range of audit, advisory, tax and business consulting services. We want to be known for navigating complexities for dynamic organisations and wherever our clients do business, we will deliver the valuable advice that makes a difference.
We have over 100 member firms around the world providing assurance, tax and advisory services to privately held businesses and public interest entities. Globally we have more than 2,500 partners and 30,000 staff providing clients with distinctive, high quality and personalised service

Images to Accompany Press Release

Full Report Click Here


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