Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII), the main trade association for the food and drink industry in Ireland, yesterday set out the serious concerns of the agri-food sector at the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin.
FDII Director Paul Kelly commented: "Brexit is the biggest and most immediate challenge facing the sector. While the outcome of exit negotiations will have a far reaching impact on our trading relationship with the UK, the collapse in sterling is already costing jobs."
At the event FDII outlined that if sterling stays at 90p to the euro for a prolonged period this may result in a potential 7,500 job losses in the agri-food sector. Mr Kelly called on Government to put preventative measures in place such as, an enterprise stabilisation fund as well as funding to help maintain existing UK markets and support further market diversification.
Kelly added: "The Irish agri-food sector is uniquely vulnerable due to the deeply entwined business and trade relations with the UK. The two way flow trade flow between Ireland and the UK, particularly North and South, involves raw materials, ingredients and finished products, and it takes place internally within companies as well as between businesses. The priority for the food sector is to maintain full unfettered access to the UK market. UK membership of the EU single market is much more preferable than a bi-lateral trade agreement."
FDII represents the interests of over 150 food, drink and non-food grocery manufacturers and suppliers in three main categories: Consumer Foods and Beverages, Dairy and Meat.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern