Ag industry needs ‘support and solutions if it is to survive Brexit’

The agricultural industry urgently needs adequate supports, solutions and a way forward if it is to survive Brexit, a Mayo TD has stressed.

Fianna Fail Spokesperson on Brexit, Lisa Chambers, has said the agri-food sector needs solutions and support in the face of Brexit.

Deputy Chambers made her comments following a meeting to discuss the implications of Brexit with stakeholders in the agri-food sector.

Commenting on the meeting, Deputy Chambers said: “One of the main take-away’s from the meeting was that the sector needs support and solutions even in the event of an orderly Brexit.

The reality is that our agri-food sector is extremely exposed to Brexit.

“Whilst diversifying into new markets is of course welcome, it can take years to make inroads in this regard and this industry needs short to medium-term solutions to help mitigate from the worst effects of Brexit.”

Continuing, Deputy Chambers said: “Our agri-food industry has worked tremendously hard to build up their reputation and earn its place on UK shelves.

Any disruption to the east-west supply chain could see Irish products lose their market share and be replaced with products from other countries.

“With approximately six weeks to go until March 29, the Government needs to be communicating what the plan is.

“For example, there is still no clarity on the landbridge, alternative shipping routes to continental Europe or the capacity of our ships to manage additional freight.”

Concluding, Deputy Chambers called on the Government to ensure that they “do all they can” to protect the agricultural industry and the “thousands of people employed in this sector”.