Food Drink Ireland (FDI), which represents the Irish food and beverage sector, has called on the government to extend energy support schemes for businesses, due to both ongoing competitive pressures and the pending introduction of border controls in Great Britain.
According to FDI's latest quarterly business monitor, food and drink firms continue to face challenges linked to high inflation, as well as inflationary trends in transport and energy.
It said that it is 'essential' that the Irish government help the sector by extending the the two energy support schemes (TBESS and UECS) to the end of 2023, while also amending the qualification criteria so that more firms can avail of support mechanisms.
“The food and drink sector continues to endure during challenging times and faces ongoing costs due to Brexit and more specifically the forthcoming introduction of border controls to our largest export market, which is why FDI is calling for the extension of the government’s two energy support schemes,” said Jonathan McDade, deputy director of Food Drink Ireland.
Inflation in the Irish food and drink sector stood at 10.2% in June, compared with the same month last year, however the pace of inflation appears to be slowing. At the same time, wages, transport costs and wholesale energy prices also remain high on a year-on-year basis.
According to FDI, an 'encouraging' development has been a recent increase in consumer sentiment.
The volume of retail sales (excluding bars and motor sales) in Ireland increased 1.0% when looking at the three-month moving average (March, April, May 2023) versus the same months last year, with the value of sales increasing 4.5% over the same period.