The Agri-Food sector plays a significant role in the economy of Northern Ireland. It contributes £1bn per annum of value added and has demonstrated a strong track record of export growth. The NI Government has launched a plan for the Agri-Food industry which aims to create 15,000 jobs over seven years.
Ards and North Down has a vast array of food producers, manufacturers, processors, restaurants and farm shops (ranging from luxury ice cream to New Season Comber Potatoes) that market their high quality products both in Northern Ireland and in export markets. The developing agri-food sector has created considerable local employment and has nurtured a thriving restaurant scene, as a result of which this area has become a desirable food destination.