Information : Meat

According to the CSO Ireland exported almost €3.8 billion euros worth of meat with a volume of over 1.03 million tonnes in 2020. This includes the following sectors and commodities:


  • Beef worth almost €2.3 billion or almost 518,000 tonnes was exported to around 70 countries. Beef exports comprise 61% of the total meat exports. Overall beef is Ireland’s second most valuable category of agri-export after Dairy. In total 38% of beef exports went to EU countries; 46% to the UK, the remaining 16% to 3rd Country (Non-EU) markets.
  • Pigmeat worth over €893 million, or almost 276,000 tonnes, was exported to over 60 countries. Pigmeat exports showed a growth of 7.9% during the period 2018-2020. Just over half of Ireland’s pigmeat exports went to the 3rd Country Markets, with 32% going to the UK and the remaining 18% to the EU. China is now Ireland largest pigmeat export market and second most valuable overall.
  • Sheepmeat worth over €354 million, or almost 64,000 tonnes, was exported to around 40 countries. This equates to 9% of the total meat export figure. The value of sheepmeat exports increased by nearly 12% over 2019 figures. 69% of Sheepmeat was exported to the EU, 20% to the UK, and 11% to 3rd Country markets in 2020.
  • Poultrymeat with a value of over €255 million, and a volume of over 140,000 tonnes, was exported to almost 40 countries with approximately 7% of the total meat exports. Overall 55% of poultrymeat exports went to the UK, 28% to 3rd Country Markets and17% to the EU.


At present Irish meat is exported to around 70 countries around the world, both within the European Union on general commercial documents and outside the European Union, either on the basis of bilaterally agreed veterinary health certificates, EU health certificates or on general meat certificates.  Products exported include:

  • Beef
  • Pigmeat
  • Sheepmeat
  • Poultry
  • Cooked meats

Further information on this trade and these certification conditions is available on this website.