Top European agri-food CEOs will meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Michael Creed as well as with the leaders of many Irish and global food companies and food R&D organisations, today (28 April), according to a statement issued by Enterprise Ireland and Food Drink Ireland (FDI).
The meeting of FoodDrinkEurope, the EU organisation for the food and drink industry, is by invitation by Enterprise Ireland, which is responsible for the attraction of food related Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland, and will focus on Brexit related concerns within the industry.
Speaking in advance of the FoodDrinkEurope board meeting, Enda Kenny said, “Ireland is regarded as a major producer of quality food products within the EU and it is testament to the valuable resources, infrastructure and community surrounding the indigenous food and drink industry that the FoodDrinkEurope board chose to conduct their meeting here.
"The Government is committed to our membership of the EU and the single market and we look forward to our continued participation with FoodDrinkEurope through Food Drink Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, as we continue to communicate our strengths within the sector and to deepen our trading relationship within the Eurozone.” Kenny added.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland outlined that the food industry is one of Ireland’s most important sectors. She also said that Enterprise Ireland’s FDI client base employs over 10,000 people in Ireland and represent over 35% of our food exports.
Gilles Morel, FoodDrinkEurope President Regional President Europe & Eurasia of Mars Chocolate, highlighted that 'across the EU, just as in Ireland, the food and drink sector is the number one manufacturing sector in terms of employment and turnover, and the bedrock of rural communities'.
Morel said, “This success also means it is a sector most exposed to trade disruption due to Brexit. The industry exports €4.1 bn of food and drink to the UK alone, 40% of total exports for the sector. The relationship with the UK, our closest neighbour, ally and of course competitor, is set to change fundamentally in the coming years.
"The task now is to ensure Irish interests are forcefully protected and advanced as we enter formal exit negotiations. The Irish agri-food industry must therefore play a central and strategic role in upcoming discussions. The visit of the board of FoodDrinkEurope to Ireland today is very positive from an Irish business perspective, demonstrating the support we have gathered at an EU level for our negotiation stance throughout the Brexit process." Morel added.
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern