Horticulture Industry “Facts and Figures”
DAFM sources estimate that the Horticulture Industry was worth €424m in 2015, which represents a significantly higher output value than that of the 2015 estimate for either Sheep €243 million or Cereals €266 million. Horticulture Food represented €359m and Amenity Horticulture €65m respectively of the €424m total. Of the €359m Horticulture Food output, Mushrooms accounted for €137m with Potatoes €76m, Field Vegetables €67m, Protected Fruit €40m, Protected Vegetables €29m and Outdoor Fruit €10m making up the remainder.
It is estimated that 6,000 are employed full time in primary production activity in the horticulture sector with a further 10,000 employed in downstream businesses.
Fresh Produce Market
The Retail Fresh Produce Market was worth €1.29bn in the year ending January 2016 with vegetables accounting for €518m, Fruit €604m and Potatoes €163m. Fruit and Vegetables combined represent 14% of the average grocery shopping basket. The Food Service Market was worth €355m in 2013.
Fresh Produce Grower Numbers
There has been a continual trend in the reduction of the number of fresh produce growers since the turn of the century. For example the number of field vegetable growers fell from 377 in 1999 to 215 in 2009. It is anticipated that the 2015 National Field Vegetable Census will record a further fall and likely to show a drop of over 50% in the number of commercial growers since 1999.