Northern food bosses moot quota system with the south
A quota trading system between Northern Ireland and the Republic could be a fall-back option when it comes to protecting agri-business across the Border post Brexit.
Northern Ireland exports 25pc of its milk to the Republic, 36pc of its sheep, 36pc of pigs and 50pc of its flour.
There are huge concerns that Brexit could raise food inflation by up to 58pc for cheese and 30pc for milk should trading tariffs be imposed.
However, delegates at the Agri-Food Strategy Board supply chain forum event in Greenmount College were told that Northern Ireland is in an excellent position to dictate Brexit policy in London that could benefit local farmers.
Brexit has been described as a pendulum, and it is up to Northern Ireland agri-food industry to influence the London negotiators on which direction it swings.
According to agri-food chiefs, farmers in Northern Ireland and in the rest of the UK don't realise the velocity of which Brexit could hit their businesses once in force.
Declan Billington, the chairman of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, told the agri-food reps the industry had to pull together in order for meaningful negotiations to take place.
"Brexit is the only show in town and we must embrace it. Going forwards is what we must do, and do so with a game plan," he said.