It might sound counterintuitive, but Irish farmers are spending a lot more money on their produce than Americans.
And it seems to have worked.
According to figures from the Agricultural Research Agency (ARAA), farmers spent €1.5 billion on food and other goods in the first half of this year, an increase of 17.3 per cent from the same period last year.
That compares to €8.7 billion in the same time last year, a 6.4 per cent rise.
“I’m sure that the price of meat will go up, I’m sure it will go down in the short term, but I’m confident that the cost per kilo of food is going to go down,” says Mark Byrne, managing director of the Agricultural Development Agency.
“We are doing all we can to lower costs and I think that’s going to have an impact on our food prices.”
In recent years, the price has risen more than expected, with Irish producers increasingly relying on imports, particularly from China.
That is causing some farmers to go into debt, which they will have to repay if they want to buy more food.
But the price rise has been offset by a slight increase in food exports, which have also fallen.
“The impact is that the costs have gone up a little bit and we’re seeing a little more exports than we were expecting,” says Mr Byrne.
He is not convinced the rise is sustainable.
“There’s been a lot of talk about the effect of globalisation on the Irish food sector and I don’t think that is really going to be sustained for the foreseeable future,” he says.
“Our food sector is already in a very difficult situation with a lot to be weighed against.”