Government’s Three Pronged Approach to Food & Drink Industry Ahead of Brexit
Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle TD (pictured) has identified three key areas the Government is negotiating on as Brexit looms. Speaking at the recent Food & Drink Business Europe Conference and Exhibition held at The Citywest Hotel in Dublin, the Minister outlined the importance of maintaining a strong trading relationship in the food and drink sector between Ireland and the UK.
“Food and drink continues to be the largest indigenous manufacturing industry, contributing over €26 billion and exporting to over 180 countries. Last year marked the eighth successive year of value growth of total Irish agri-food exports to reach €13.5 billion. The UK remains our biggest market and exports to the UK last year rose by 7%.”
Highlighting the challenges Brexit will pose for maintaining Ireland’s reputation as a high quality producer of food and drink products, the Minister outlined a three pronged approach the Government is working on as they prepare to bear the brunt of Brexit. “Brexit remains a major challenge and will be for years ahead as we move our way forward. For this reason the Government and the Department have identified from the outset that there are key asks under negotiation that we see as essential. They are continued free access to the UK market without tariffs and with minimal additional customs and administrative procedures, minimization of risk from UK trade agreements with third countries and the maintenance of our current access to fishing zones and the protection of Ireland’s quota for joint fish stocks. We recognise the huge task involved but also see enormous opportunity present in UK markets. The UK is the largest external supplier of food and drink to Ireland and more importantly we are largest supplier to UK and with population close to 70 million.”
Andrew Doyle TD encouraged food and drink companies to avail of the State supports available to those impacted by Brexit.
Over 2,000 key decision makers from Ireland’s leading food and drink processing, retail and food service industries attended the Food & Drink Business Europe event which is now in its fifth year.