Humble block of cheddar cheese amongst Brexit's first victims
Irish cheddar exports to the UK slumps
The humble block of cheddar has become one of the first victims of Brexit with exports to the UK slumping in the first three months of the year.
In January, UK imports of Cheddar of which Irish product accounts for some 8opc totalled just 4,162 tonnes, 633 tonnes (13pc) less than the same month last year, according to official UK customs figures.
Meanwhile, cumulative imports of cheddar stood at 96,567 tonnes, a decrease of 5,067 tonnes (5pc) from the previous year. Imports from Ireland were down 10,330 tonnes (12pc).
Unfortunately, for Irish dairy processors and farmers the UK represents the only viable market for cheddar.
Agriculture Department secretary general Aidan O'Driscoll told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently that while the dairy sector is less exposed to the risk of Brexit than other areas, an exception is the Cheddar industry.
He said 60pc of Irish Cheddar exports currently go to the UK.
"Nobody else eats Cheddar. It can't be diverted off to France," he warned.
However, some in the dairy sector have highlighted potential Brexit dangers for the sector.