Imports of Irish Food

irish food imports

Ireland imports a wide variety of foods from around the world. These imports can be due to a number of different factors.

Some of these reasons include climate, skilled workforce and policy. However, these factors can also affect the way that these imports are priced and how much they are able to cost the consumer.


Imports of fish and fishery produce into Ireland must be processed through an entry point called a Border Control Post (BCP). These products are subject to specific import controls to ensure that they comply with EU food safety rules.

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority regulates the trade of all Irish seafood products and sets import quotas. This helps to protect the Irish market from unregulated, illegal, and unreported (IUU) fish and fishery products.

There are a number of popular shellfish found throughout Ireland, including mussels and prawns. They are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.


Ireland imports a wide variety of meat products into its food supply, including beef, pork and lamb. Beef accounts for nearly half of Ireland’s imports, while pork makes up about a third and lamb around 20 percent.

In 2016, the Republic of Ireland accounted for 67% of all meat imports into Ireland, followed by Great Britain and Germany at 19% and 15%. These figures reflect the continued strength of our primary export markets.

Beef exports grew in value by 9% to EUR2.1 billion, driven by strong demand and higher prices in key markets. This growth was underpinned by a continued positive trade environment, with both the UK and EU experiencing tightness of supply.


Despite Ireland’s high per capita production of fruits and vegetables, a significant proportion is imported into the country. Using Notre Dame Global Adaption Initiative vulnerability indicators to assess climate resilience, this study finds that 22% of fruit and vegetable imports come from countries classified as climate-vulnerable.

Mapping shows that Ireland is largely reliant on West Europe for vegetable imports and a significant supplier of potatoes. The UK, however, is a key supplier of both types of fresh food. Brexit potentially heightens food system vulnerabilities for Ireland.


Bread is a common part of Irish diets and a good source of fibre, vitamins, calcium, iron, protein and folic acid. It is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and can help to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

It is also a low-fat food. A small portion of white bread (100g) provides only 1% of your daily fat and sugar intake.

Soda bread was first introduced to Ireland around the 1830s, when it was discovered that baking soda, a form of wood ash, would leaven bread without yeast. It was a quick and easy way for Irish cooks to make their traditional breads.


During the past decade, an Irish cuisine has developed that focuses on fresh vegetables, seafood, and traditional soda bread. However, the new Irish cuisine also features a number of dishes that are familiar to the West, such as pizza and curry.

The desserts that are imported into Ireland include a variety of sweet treats. One of these is gur cake, which consists of a pastry shell filled with bread slices that have been soaked in tea, sugar, dried fruit, and spices such as cinnamon.