Serious concern has been raised by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) about the delays and uncertainty applying to Irish food being transported using the British land-bridge to continental markets and destinations as a result of Covid-19 related travel bans.

Commenting on the matter, ICMSA president Pat McCormack said that the nature of these products must differentiate them from other cargos trapped in the current standstill.

Continuing, McCormack said that some definite conditions need to be applied to the present situation to allow food products to get to their destination quickly, adding:

Obviously we’re cognisant of the over-riding health issues, but we do think that arrangements could – and should – be made that recognise the priority of food over other less important commodities.

“It seems very odd that perishable food can be trapped in tailbacks or lorry parks alongside completely non-perishables while at the same time we read that UK supermarkets are now issuing warnings about running out of this or that food.

“It can’t be beyond the planning capacities of the British and the EU to prioritise and organise some kind of system that minimises the risks but still permits our food exports to get to our EU customers and consumers,” the president said.

“Since the first day of the first lockdown, we have been able to recognise the crucial role that confidence in a supply of fresh food plays in reassuring people – and it would be a real shame if we lost sight of that point now when it should be underlined more than ever.

“This matter needs to be resolved immediately,” McCormack concluded.