'Agri sector jobs need protection' warns Dawn boss
Published 12/07/2016 | 02:30
The Government must have a "loud voice" at the table in Brussels to ensure farm family incomes and agri-jobs are protected post-Brexit, a business leader has warned.
Dawn Farm Foods boss Larry Murrin said businesses and the country's marketing agencies have worked for over five decades to open up "sophisticated markets" like the UK, which takes €4.4bn of Irish food and drink exports each year.
"Inside and outside the farm gate in this country there are more than 200,000 incomes and jobs to be protected in what is the country's most important indigenous industry," said Mr Murrin, who attended a Bord Bia Brexit conference that heard warnings the UK was heading towards a recession. "We've got to work together, all stakeholders led by the Government, to protect our position."
Mr Murrin said the country was now in "unprecedented territory" and all that could be seen at this stage were the first "ripple effects" on currency.
"This really needs to be an all hands to the pump solution, but the Government needs to lead this," he said.
ABP's Paul Finnerty warned the UK economy was already very "fragile" without Brexit. He said there was a view that the pressures would mean the UK would look "far and wide" for lower-cost product.
"The pressures now will revolve around what happens with the trade deals the UK strikes when it exits from the EU," he said, with currency an issue in the short-term.