Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Saturday 25 November 2017

Kenny vows to get rid of red tape obstructing food industry

Taoiseach Enda
Kenny has vowed to get rid of any
red tape holding back the Irish food
industry from hitting its 2020
targets
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has vowed to get rid of any red tape holding back the Irish food industry from hitting its 2020 targets
Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised to remove any red tape that is holding back the Irish food industry from achieving the targets set out in the Food Harvest 2020 report.

"Our business [in Government] is your business," he told the food industry leaders attending the Bord Bia summit in Dublin last Friday.

"I've already said to Simon [Coveney] to set out the requirements of the sector to achieve the 2020 targets.

"We want this to be the best country in the world to do business. That means looking at all the obstacles, including removing the red tape, especially in agriculture."

He also invited everybody present to call him directly with any issues that they felt the Government had an input into.

This was the follow-up to the first seminar organised by Bord Bia 12 months ago when they launched their Brand Ireland initiative and called for Irish food processors to join in 'co-opetition' to drive growth in food sector exports.

Despite the continuing growth in food exports that has seen an extra €400m of food sales in the first five months of 2011, there is still little actual evidence of 'co-opetition' taking place in Irish industry, according to Harvard agri-business director Mary Shelman.

"There is still not enough cooperation in the sector and there needs to be more vigorous communication with farmers," she said. "You can't have a world-class food industry without world-class farmers. The only way this will happen is by getting them in touch with the markets that they are producing for and getting the message out there that they are not in competition with the neighbour down the road.

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"Instead they need to be sharing more best practice."

Ms Shelman said that the Irish CEOs she had talked to recently were much more optimistic about domestic investment than before.

"In the past it was all about investing abroad but that's all changed," she said.

She added that large food companies were not experiencing trouble accessing capital.

"One CEO told me that he was offered finance at lower rates than ever before," she said.

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