Food and drink is a vital and growing industry in Northern Ireland. In terms of turnover, employment and cultural significance, this £5bn sector continues to extend its reach in GB and in international markets. Whilst 50% of turnover comes from our top 10 companies, family-owned businesses remain prominent, resulting in an industry that is flexible, authentic and straightforward in its dealings.
A diverse range of food and drink brands from producers of all shapes and sizes brings warmth and personality to the sector. Northern Ireland’s produce has proven award-winning status, the result of many years of success in schemes such as Great Taste, the Quality Food Awards and most recently the Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards. Key to this success is our unique blend of tradition and innovation. Invest NI’s Pure, Natural, Quality strapline summarises the goodness of Northern Ireland’s produce, which emanates from our rich pastures and sustainably managed farms. High quality local ingredients ensure guaranteed provenance and short supply chains, giving full confidence in food security and traceability.
Northern Ireland is well known for the quality of its beef, dairy and bakery products. In each of these sectors, suppliers are melding established production techniques with the latest technology, enabling them to access opportunities in the growing plant-based and free-from sectors. Finnebrogue is at once a leading supplier of sausages, nitrate-free bacon and plant-based meat alternatives, operating from several discrete production facilities. In the bakery sector, traditional craft soda farls and wheaten breads sit alongside gluten-free and vegan options from Stone Bakery and Graham’s.
Invest NI’s dedicated food business development team supports local companies to develop their business with customers in GB and beyond. Visit our website or contact us directly to learn how our world-class food and drink can help grow your business.