Commissioner Hogan to talk Brexit as he visits the North tomorrow

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, will be in Northern Ireland tomorrow, Monday May 9 on an official visit.

The Commissioner will visit a farm in Warrenpoint in Co. Down, organised by the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and afterwards he will deliver a speech at the Europe Day reception in Belfast.

Next, he will meet with Noel Lavery, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) of Northern Ireland, Norman Fulton, Deputy Secretary of the Food and Farming Group at DARD and Andrew Elliott, Director of the Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels.

At the end of the day, Commissioner Hogan will deliver the 2016 annual Gibson lecture at the Medical Biology Centre at Queen’s University on the topic of the UK referendum on Brexit and agriculture.

Set up in 1999 in Queen’s University Belfast, the Gibson Institute for Land, Food and the Environment is involved in education and research in the areas of, among others, rural development, agricultural and environmental economics, land use and environmental management.

Last month, the Commissioner undertook a trade mission to China and Japan with a business delegation of more than 60 European agri-food executives to promote EU agri-food products.

The Commissioner said that he hoped to make some progress on a number of hindrances to current trade.

Speaking before setting off on his journey, the Commissioner said that China and Japan are particularly important markets for the EU agri-food sector which have shown considerable growth in recent years.

“I hope that these promotion events will highlight the quality, traditions, and added value of our products, as well as our food safety and traceability guarantees, and stimulate further interest from Chinese and Japanese consumers in European food and drink.

“I look forward to building on our existing trade flows and showing that Europe is open to business, in particular for agri-food products.”