Trade top of the agenda as Creed meets UK Rural Secretary Gove

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed met with his UK counterpart, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Michael Gove in London earlier today.

The minister and the secretary of state discussed issues associated with Brexit, the agri-food and fisheries sectors as well as future UK and EU agriculture policy.

Commenting on their discussions Minister Creed said: “This was a timely opportunity for dialogue in the context of the ongoing negotiations taking place between the UK and the EU task force on the Withdrawal Agreement.

I stressed to the secretary of state the mutual benefit of bilateral trade in agri-food and fisheries and the importance of coming to an agreement which allows such trade to continue as seamlessly as possible without undermining the integrity of the single market.

Conitnuing, Minister Creed added: “I reiterated the importance of our fishing industry and confirmed that Ireland’s position regarding our fisheries sector is fully aligned with that of the EU27.

“In a high profile week for the horse racing industry I mentioned the tripartite agreement between Ireland, France and the UK which facilitates the movement of horses between the three states.”

Continuing his St Patrick’s week activities in London, the minister this morning met with Sainsbury CEO Mike Coupe, which built upon previous engagement to review the closer working relationships between Bord Bia and Sainsbury’s over the past year.

Minister Creed also held a high-level meeting with Amazon in seeking to develop a stronger understanding of its UK business and how Irish food and drink suppliers can partner with Amazon as it seeks to grow the grocery side of its business.

Minister Creed subsequently opened Bord Bia’s new London Insight Centre, which seeks to provide an environment for the development of innovative new products for the UK market by Irish producers and processors as well as UK customers.

The Centre is modelled on Bord Bia’s Thinking House in Dublin, and is the first such centre rolled out to one of Bord Bia foreign offices.

The Minister also took the opportunity to join with the Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith in a Children’s Culture Camp, taking place at the Embassy.

The project aims to increase awareness of Ireland and Irish culture among primary age school children in London.

Later this evening the minister will be the guest of honour at an embassy reception for the Irish community, where approximately 250-300 representatives of community organisations and other prominent members of the Irish community in Britain will be in attendance.