Exports of Irish bakery products increased by more than 20% in 2009 despite difficult market conditions.

Bord Bía (Irish Food Board) told British Baker it estimated that bakery exports were worth E30.84m (£27m) for 2009 compared to E25.7m (£22.5m) in 2008. Products showing growth potential were morning goods (muffins), rolls and innovative breads (e.g. seeded breads). Key markets were the UK, which takes 80% of total exports, followed by the US and Denmark. Much product for export is par-baked.

Exports were helped by increased capacity in Ireland, according to Bord Bía in its Performance and Prospects 2009/2010 report. While Bord Bía could not comment on individual companies, industry sources said Aryzta (Cuisine de France’s) new facility, at Grangecastle in Dublin, with an investment of around E195m (£171m), was one of the most efficient and modern of its kind in Europe.

Bakery product exports bucked an otherwise downward trend. Overall food exports to the UK were down by 15% or E400m (£351m). A key factor was the decline in sterling against the euro. Bord Bía told British Baker that, in 2010, it expected the market environment to remain difficult.