Farm Ireland
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Friday 23 February 2018

LacPatrick enjoys 25pc UK sales surge after Brexit vote

 

The IFA has reportedly “worked hard to drive a strong calf export trade” and are pushing “to develop new markets”, such as Turkey, where this month more than 3,000 young bulls depart for “finishing” on local farms. Photo: Stock image
The IFA has reportedly “worked hard to drive a strong calf export trade” and are pushing “to develop new markets”, such as Turkey, where this month more than 3,000 young bulls depart for “finishing” on local farms. Photo: Stock image
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Dairy co-operative LacPatrick has seen a 25pc surge in its sales into the British market in the wake of Brexit.

Chief executive Gabriel D'Arcy said that's because the company straddles the Border, with operations in Monaghan but also in the North.

He said this presents opportunities.

"From our perspective, and we straddle both sides of the Border, there are opportunities in Brexit. And those opportunities are already being realised," Mr D'Arcy told a Brexit briefing last week organised by specialist bank Investec.

"For instance, our business into the GB market from our sites in Northern Ireland have increased 25pc since the vote.

"Every GB manufacturer, every big company, equally they're looking at how can they mitigate the risks that they're facing, where most of their raw materials are coming from the EU, from Ireland, or elsewhere. And they're saying, is there a GB or UK supplier of these raw materials?"

Separately, the north-west-based Lakeland Dairies co-op said earlier in the week that it has a "massive safety net" against Brexit after its multi-million-euro purchase north of the Border.

It is just over a year since the Co Cavan headquartered firm bought Northern Ireland's Fane Valley's milk business.

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Michael Hanley, Lakelands group ceo, said the move - struck just a month ahead of last year's UK Brexit referendum - means they now have added "flexibility".

Mr D'Arcy also said, however, that the political vacuum in Northern Ireland was very unhelpful in the context of Brexit.

The resumption of power-sharing in the wake of the March 2 Assembly election has proved elusive, and any potential deal between the parties is now not expected until after the June 8 UK general election at the earliest.

"The political vaccum that is in Northern Ireland at the moment is very, very unhelpful. If nothing else, as a political bridge into Whitehall, or a political bridge into Brussels, to enable people like me and others and various different trade associations to voice our concerns, that stepping stone isn't there. And that is an impediment."

Mr D'Arcy also said that a hard Brexit would be a "disaster".

"If we go to a hard Brexit and WTO tarriffs, this will be a disaster. It doesn't make sense for Britain, for Ireland or indeed for Europe, not to have a trade deal on such things that Britain needs and Europe produces."

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