(From Left to Right)
Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Paul Duggan, Chairman Genfitt; David Meagher, Head of Agribusiness, KPMG; Ronan Egan, Managing Director Genfitt and Nancy Leonard, Partner, KPMG, at the launch of the Genfitt Knowledge report, at the launch of the Genfitt Knowledge report at the Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.


Beef and Brexit shape agribusiness outlook

Genfitt report highlights Brexit concerns as labour challenges and drop in demand for beef front of mind for Irish farmers

  • Only 1 in 3 (31%) of farmers say their business did better in 2019 versus 2018
  • Brexit, input costs and availability of finance top 3 concerns
  • Farm automation and labour-saving technology highlighted as area for investment
  • Dairy and Tillage farmers optimistic about 2020

The fourth annual Genfitt Knowledge report has been released in association with KPMG. The report, based on data from July and August 2019, assesses trends in Irish agribusiness and the outlook for 2020.

For a copy of the report, please click here

In general, there’s been little improvement in the Irish agricultural sector. Just one in three (31 per cent) respondents said their agribusiness had performed better in 2019 than in 2018.  Meanwhile, 44 per cent of respondents reported the same performances for this year as last year.

The main issues of concern include Brexit, input costs and availability of finance. This is in direct contrast to 2018, during which Brexit wasn’t affecting trade and the most negatively impacting factor was the weather.

A lack of farm labour emerged as one of the factors affecting the income of Irish farmers as farm contractors are used instead to complete manual jobs. As a result, those in agribusiness are increasingly investing in farm automation and labour-saving technology.

Beef farmers are also feeling the pinch. A drop in demand for beef, due to changing dietary trends, trade issues caused by the prospect of Brexit, and the need to cut down on emissions, due to climate change, have meant that the price of beef has weakened in the past year.

On a positive note, 70 per cent of dairy and tillage farmers enjoyed a good year. Milk prices were sustained in 2019, and despite a recent slight drop, global demand for milk is increasing and the prices are expected to rise in 2020.

Speaking at the launch of the report today, Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine said: “A positive future for Irish agribusiness is a major government priority and the Genfitt Knowledge Report provides a valuable insight into many of the key issues affecting the sector. It’s a highly worthwhile resource for farmers, policy makers and everyone who has an interest in the future health of this vital part of our economy.”

David Meagher, Head of Agribusiness at KPMG
, commented: “As a major advisor to Irish agribusiness, KPMG takes a keen interest in the findings of the Genfitt Knowledge report. It provides clarity on the issues, concerns and opportunities faced by Ireland’s farmers, and those who work with them, in helping to make the most profitable and sustainable decisions for their businesses.”

The Genfitt Knowledge Report has become a ‘must read’ for all stakeholders in Irish agriculture, according to Paul Duggan, Chairman of Genfitt. “As a major supplier to the agribusiness sector, we place a high value on ensuring that all stakeholders are equipped with the knowledge and insight they need. At a time of great change for Irish farming, we are proud to play a role in helping to provide a voice for the sector as it faces both challenges and opportunities.”

For more information, please contact:
Erin McCafferty, KPMG Communications: 01 4014107,

*About Genfitt
Genfitt is the largest independent wholesale distributor of farm machinery parts, agricultural components, spares and tines to the agricultural trade sector in Ireland. Genfitt has been in business for over 40 years and has built a reputation on its product quality and range, as well as its flexibility. 

*About KPMG Ireland:

KPMG in Ireland is a provider of professional services, offering a range of audit, tax and advisory services to a broad range of domestic and international clients across all sectors of business and the economy. It operates on an all-Ireland basis and has 101 partners and over 3,000 people in offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway. Find out more at

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