Bakery and snacks firms in Northern Ireland have announced plans to grow turnover by 73% by 2020, according to a recent strategy published by Agri-Food.

The achievement would see turnover in the sector rise to £445m, with a whopping £1.3bn set aside by the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland, over the next seven years.

A target of 141% sales growth, to £245m, has also been set for sales outside Northern Ireland.

Set out in a strategic action plan, called ‘Going for Growth – Investing in Success’, the goals were agreed upon by leading representatives from bakery organisations and major Northern Irish processors such as Irwin’s Bakery in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

The strategy contained 118 recommendations to the Northern Ireland Executive to grow an industry that already contributes over £4bn to the local economy and is the region’s biggest manufacturer and leading exporter.

It also calls for recognition that there is a single supply chain, and that all links in the chain work closely together on delivering products that will attract a premium in international markets.

Overall, the strategy, originally commissioned by the Northern Ireland Executive a year ago, wants to see a 75% increase in the sale of food and drink outside Northern Ireland. Currently, Northern Irish producers sell almost £3bn abroad, mostly to Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.