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Brexit And Alcohol Bill Creates Challenge For Alcohol Sector Says ABFI

Published on Jan 24 2017 10:42 AM

Brexit And Alcohol Bill Creates Challenge For Alcohol Sector Says ABFI

The Public Health Alcohol Bill (PHAB) and a hard Brexit will create a challenge for the drinks sector, according to an economic study commissioned by the The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI).

Exports within the Irish drinks sector is said to be worth in the region of  €1.4 billion, which it distributed to 139 markets in 2015 as well as supporting over  200,000 jobs in the wider drinks and  hospitality sector.

The report’s author agri-economist Ciaran Fitzgerald said; “Since the Brexit vote last June and the subsequent decline in the value of sterling, the food and drink sector in Ireland has faced enormous challenges in the short term, including a surge in cross border shopping.  In addition, measures proposed under the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill place will exacerbate pressure on a sector that employs 200,000 directly and indirectly."

Research also highlighted that the UK is Ireland’s biggest export market for food and drink. Other factors such as the result of the UK Brexit vote and sterling devaluation has led to a surge in cross border shopping, the increased prices of Irish products which in turn and has increased the cost of Ireland as a tourist destination.

Fitzgerald added, "The outcome of Brexit negotiations remains unclear. However, its vital that the Government puts in place a series of policy measures which will support the sector, ensure it gains access to new markets, supports new entrants and protects the unique geographic indicators for Irish Whiskey, Irish Poitin and Irish cream that we share with the North.”

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), represents brewers, distillers, brand owners and distributors and is calling on the government to put in place a series of policy measures to mitigate against the risks of Brexit and also to reduce the unintended consequences of some of the policy measures contained in the PHAB.

© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern

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