Food and Drink is a £5 billion industry in Northern Ireland and is the region’s largest manufacturer.

Our success is down to our pure, lush countryside, and farmers and producers who are dedicated to traceability and passionate about quality.

It’s a progressive industry based on family farms and fishing businesses as well as enterprising producers focused on original products for customers worldwide.

Food and Drink from Northern Ireland is exported to over 80 countries

Food and Drink from Northern Ireland is enjoyed by customers in top hotels and high-end restaurants in Britain, France, the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. Large retail chains such as Marks & Spencer, Albert Heijn, Carrefour, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco also stock products from Northern Ireland.

Find out more information about Northern Ireland food and drink and a directory of suppliers

Areas of expertise

Our companies experience spans across a range of sectors including:

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Dairy
  • Fruit and vegatables
  • Bakery
  • Artisan and speciality
  • Seafood

Access to world-class research centres of excellence

Northern Ireland is home to a number of centres of excellence undertaking industrially relevant research and channelling university expertise into the development of sophisticated products and processes to assist the growth of companies in our food and drink sector.

Northern Ireland for foreign direct investment

Northern Ireland is an attractive place for investment in the food and drink sector thanks to a combination of factors including skills availability, excellent infrastructure, cost-effectiveness and a supportive business environment.

Who's here

  • Dale Farm

    Dale Farm is one of the leading dairy processors in the UK and Ireland and part of the United Dairy Farmers Group, Northern Ireland’s largest dairy co–operative. Dale Farm’s product offering includes an extensive selection of dairy goods – ranging from milk, cheese, butter and yogurts to desserts and ice–cream. The company exports to over 45 countries worldwide.

  • Dunbia

    Dunbia is an established multinational food company operating across multiple sites in the UK. The company prides itself on the relationships it has with its stakeholders and delivers the most efficient and effective supply chain from field to fork.

  • Irwin's

    Irwin’s Bakery is Northern Ireland’s largest independent bakery which specialises in the production and distribution of traditional Irish breads across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.

    Irwin’s breads currently account for around 85% of all Irish breads sold in Great Britain, spearheaded by the multi–award winning Rankin Selection Irish breads range, which it makes in conjunction with celebrity Irish chef, Paul Rankin.

  • Mash Direct

    Mash Direct is the leading UK brand, offering an innovative range of high quality, convenient mashed root vegetable, potato, cabbage and other quality vegetable products with the taste and texture of good homemade food. It comprises of a traditional farm and a state–of–the–art food production facility.

    The vegetables are grown, steam–cooked and packaged on the farm and are free from artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.

  • Moy Park

    Moy Park is one of the UK's top 15 food companies, Northern Ireland's largest private sector business and one of Europe's leading poultry producers. With 12 processing and manufacturing units in Northern Ireland, England, France and the Netherlands, the company processes over 280 million birds per year, in addition to producing around 200,000 tons of prepared foods per year.

Video | Annual Food and Drink Supplier Showcase | Culloden Hotel

Key facts

  • Food & drink processors employ around 21,000 people - almost 1/4 of all manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland
  • Food and drink currently accounts for 20% of Northern Ireland's exports
  • Northern Ireland is a global leader in food safety - Global Food Safety Unit at Queen's University
  • Northern Ireland produces 20% of the UK’s beef and 15% of the UK’s dairy

To find out what Northern Ireland can offer your business:

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Key Facts


Food and drink currently accounts for 20% of Northern Ireland's exports


Northern Ireland is a global leader in food safety - Global Food Safety Unit at Queen's University


Northern Ireland produces 20% of the UK’s beef and 15% of the UK’s dairy

Group of people

Food & drink processors employ around 21,000 people - almost 1/4 of all manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland