Monday 21 October 2019

Brexit is to the fore at Food Wise forum

Minister Creed to lead trade mission to Indonesia, Malaysia next month

Maria Herlihy

There was a raft of in-depth discussion on Brexit; market development; and the tillage and horticulture sectors by Minister Michael Creed who recently chaired the Food Wise 2025 High Level Implementation Committee (HLIC).

He said that his Department is continuing to assess the impact of Brexit on the agri-food sector, for which he said, "preparedness and contingency planning is a priority".  

"I will continue to work with our agencies and stakeholders to ensure the sector is prepared, as much as it can be for Brexit," he said.  

Market development was identified as one of the five cross-cutting themes within Food Wise 2025. It highlighted the need to ensure that Irish products are targeted at the right markets, and the right segments within these markets.  

"I would urge all of the stakeholders, public and private, to refocus their efforts and to drive the sector forward to meet both the opportunities and challenges in developing new markets for the Irish agri-food sector," he said.  

As part of this effort, the Minister announced that he will be leading a trade mission to Indonesia and Malaysia in October 2018.  

He acknowledged the contribution made by the tillage and horticulture sectors of some €700 million to agricultural output. He finalised by saying, in line with the primary sector as a whole, "tillage and horticulture" have faced challenges this year. 

"In partnership with them, we will continue to support and develop the sectors," he said.