President of the Irish Farmers’ Assocation (IFA), Joe Healy, has warned that a British exit form the EU would be damaging for Ireland’s food and farming sector.
Speaking at a briefing with representatives from the agri-food industry in Dublin last week, Healy appealed to the Irish community living in the UK to support the position that keeps the EU intact.
He said, "From an Irish farming and agri-food perspective, it is hugely important for Ireland that the UK remains within the EU.
"While a UK exit from the EU would be negative overall for the Irish economy, the stakes are highest for farming and the agri-food sector, with our huge dependence on the UK market for our €4.4bn exports, the shared land border, and the potential impact on the CAP budget."
He added that the UK represents Ireland’s more important agri-food export market, accounting for over 40% of the country’s agricultural exports. It is the destination for over 50% of Irish beef, 60% of Irish cheese, €350m worth of Irish pigmeat exports, and almost 100% of that nation’s mushroom exports.
"Should the UK vote to leave the EU, Irish agriculture would undoubtedly suffer negative consequences, both in the short-term and the longer term," he said.
"Already in 2016, we have seen a weakening of sterling against the euro, arising mainly from the uncertainty on the referendum outcome. This has reduced the competitiveness of Irish exports, with a disproportionate impact on the Irish agri-food sector."
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan