Irish food exports continue to reach new record highs according to the State’s food agency, Bord Bia. Despite breaching the €9bn barrier for the first time last year, early data indicates that sales growth in the food sector forged ahead by another 8.6pc during the first six months of 2013. This equates to over €370m of additional sales.The two big food sectors, dairy and meat, grew significantly. Dairy exports were up by 4pc on the back of a sustained 20pc rise in milk prices over the last 12 months.Beef sales received an even bigger lift, with price increases accounting for 5pc and volume growth accounting for an additional 10pc growth. The meat price increase has been largely driven by a deficit of cattle supplies in Britain, which remains the key customer for half of our beef output.