Of that, €730m is sold in its Irish stores while €960m worth of goods is exported to its outlets in other countries.

The company said this makes it the biggest retailer buyer of Irish produce in the world and a bigger buyer than any country in the European Union.

“Remarkably, Tesco’s overall domestic purchases and exports of Irish food and drink exceeded Ireland’s overall agrifood exports to each of France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US in 2021,” said William H Batt, Indecon’s economic consultants who led the assessment.

“Given the scale of these purchases, Indecon’s research suggests that Tesco is the single largest retail purchaser of Irish food and drink in the world,” he added.

The report by international economic consultants Indecon was commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of Tesco’s arrival in the Irish market.

It says Tesco’s total expenditure here – including wages, produce and services – was €2.44 billion – a 26% increase on 2007.

It put the retailer’s gross contribution to Ireland’s GDP at €1.87 billion, up 16% in the past decade.

“Our significant spend with Irish businesses helps to secure the jobs of local people and many local Irish suppliers,” said Tesco Ireland’s CEO Natasha Adams.

“In addition, the success of Irish farmers and food processors supplying us domestically and exporting to Tesco internationally reflects the outstanding quality and unwavering commitment of the Irish agri-food sector,” she added.