07/02/2019

FF Call For Agri-Food Support In Face Of Brexit

A Fianna Fail TD has called for Government support for the agri-food sector in the face of Brexit.

Lisa Chambers, the party's Brexit spokesperson, was commenting after a meeting to discuss the implications of Brexit with key stakeholders in the industry.

"One of the main take-away's from the meeting is that this sector needs supports and solutions even in the event of an orderly Brexit," she commented.

"The reality is that our agri-food sector is extremely exposed to Brexit and whilst numerous reports have been done on the implications for this sector, the Government have offered very little in the way of support or solutions. Whilst diversifying into new markets is of course welcome it can take years to make inroads in this regard and this industry needs short to medium term solutions to help mitigate from the worst effects of Brexit."

Deputy Chambers continued that any disruption to the East-West supply chain could see Irish products lose their hard-earned market share and be replaced with products from other countries which would have long-term negative implications for the sector.

"With approximately 6 weeks to go until the 29th March the Government need to be communicating what the plan is. For example, there is still no clarity on the landbridge, alternative shipping routes to continental Europe or the capacity of our ships to manage additional freight. This is exceptionally important and a basic ask for time sensitive products in the agri-food sector.

"The Government must ensure that they do all that they can to protect this industry and the thousands of people employed in this sector. A plan after the event happens is not a plan at all and the industry urgently needs adequate supports, solutions and a way forward if it is to survive Brexit," concluded Deputy Chambers.



(JG/CM)

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