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Covid-19 will have a 'severe' impact on Irish food businesses

Bord Bia has said that the coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruption to the food industry.

Image: Shutterstock/SunnyToys

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC will have a “severe” impact on Irish food businesses, according to a new report from Bord Bia. 

Bord Bia, which promotes Irish food, has warned that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak is likely to be considerable – and is now offering new advice to businesses about how to cope and adapt in the weeks ahead. 

According to the report, Ireland’s food and drink exports were worth €13 billion in 2019.

The restrictions in place across Europe to cope with the virus, the report warns, mean a loss of €6.9 billion in exports. 

“Only a small percentage of revenue losses in these markets are expected to be off-set by home delivery as delivered foodservice is in its infancy in the region,” the report says. 

The impact on food business in Ireland has been “devastating”, according to Bord Bia – mirroring the experience of other countries. 

However, the report also offers some signs of hope, pointing to the emergence of collection and delivery services from businesses. 

“In time, when the immediate and severe impacts of Covid-19 have abated, food and drink companies must start planning for a post Covid-19 future,” the report says. 

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Some companies – from cafes to bookshops -  took early action to adapt to the coronavirus outbreak, which has so far caused the death of 365 people

However, the report is clear that even by adapting, the closure of much of the food sector across Europe is having a detrimental impact on Irish businesses. 

The global reach of the crisis is referenced by Bord Bia, which – while noting that domestic supply chains shouldn’t be severely disrupted – argues that the crisis “has highlighted to the world the need to ensure that each link in the chain is reviewed for risk exposure”.

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