Compaines featured in the SIPTU Supporting Quality campaign have made a massive contribution to the success of Irish food and drink exports which last year approached a record €10 billion for the first time. According to figures released by An Bord Bia, there was a 9% increase in Irish food and drink exports in 2013 from the previous year with revenues almost €3 billion higher than in 2009. While export values for dairy products and ingredients exceeded €3 billion for the first time, there were also strong performances for meat and livestock (€3.3 billion) and prepared foods (€1.65 billion). Supporting Quality member Kerry Foods is one Irish company which has experienced export success. Kerry Foods Marketing Director (International Business), Denis O’Riordan, told Liberty: “Growth has to be in the export market for Irish companies, with a domestic market of only 4.5 million. If you do any serious investment in Research and Development or equipment, your ability to get pay back on the home market is low. “The home market is important and will remain so but it is through exports that Irish companies can see major development.” SIPTU Manufacturing Division Organiser, Gerry McCormack, said: “With their better working conditions and motivated workforces it is not surprising that companies which are members of the Supporting Quality campaign are doing well and expanding into new markets. “It is the job of SIPTU members and their families to support these companies by – where possible – choosing to purchase their products rather than those produced by their lesser quality competitors.” He added: “By supporting other union jobs we can ensure that as Irish companies do well so do workers.”