NI's agri-food sector turnover 'is close to £5bn'
The turnover of Northern Ireland's agri-food sector increased by almost £500m in 2017, a rise of 11%, according to government statistics.
And the trend in our biggest manufacturing sector is one of continued growth, with provisional estimates for 2018 showing annual sales close to £5bn.
The value of sales in 2017 was £4.8bn.
The biggest market is Great Britain which takes 49% of goods valued at £2,377m
Northern Ireland is next where 24% of produce is consumed.
The Republic of Ireland is our biggest export market accounting for 15% of sales worth £716m.
Other EU countries and the rest of the world account for 12%.
The sector employs more than 23,000 full-time equivalent workers.
The biggest sectors for sales were beef and sheep meat, milk and milk products and poultry.
There were 23 businesses with an annual turnover in excess of £50m. Between them they accounted for 70% of turnover and 56% of total employment.
By employment, the biggest sectors were poultry, beef and sheep meat, bakery and fruit and vegetable.