Food boss calls for low cost loans to fight Brexit
Dawn Farms CEO says Government focus should be on protecting existing market share in Britain
Agri businesses need long-term, low-cost loan measures to boost their competitiveness in the face of Brexit, Dawn Farms CEO Larry Murrin has warned.
Mr Murrin (pictured) is calling on the Government to use money from the National Pension Reserve Fund to generate 20-year loans at low interest rates to assist companies remain in the UK market.
Although he accepts that market diversification is important in helping shape a partial alternative to Ireland's €4.6bn export trade with the UK, he described this as a "soft response" that could herald "dismal" results.
"I see Brexit in two ways, you have the now and you have the future which is the trade piece," says Mr Murrin.
"There are no trade deals, embargoes or tariffs right now and they won't emerge for between two and six years. In the meantime we have to measure the immediate impact of Brexit which is the significant weakening of sterling, business uncertainty, consumer uncertainty and alternative supply chains for Britain.
"As a nation we absolutely need a set of measures that enable us to protect today's pie.
"We need measures that help industry invest in their own competitiveness with low-cost, long-term financial funding.
"It's not a handout, the money is already sitting there in billions in Government coffers called the National Pension Reserve Fund - they just need to find the tools to actually create funds and conditions that can lend directly to the indigenous Irish agri sector.