‘Creating jobs in local communities is fundamental to Ireland’s future’ – IFAC

A new Food and AgriBusiness 2019 report by IFAC points to a number of findings including rising costs, the short supply of high-quality labour, climate change impacts and succession rights, emerging within the Irish business sector.

The report, which was launched earlier this week, is based on the insights provided by 200 owner-managers of food and agri-businesses from across Ireland.

The findings, says John Donoghue CEO of IFAC, are clear: “Costs are rising, high-quality labour is in short supply, optimism is falling, climate change is firmly on the business agenda and Brexit now looms large on the horizon.

Our report confirms that succession remains a significant challenge for owner-managers in the sector.

He continued: “Less than one in five food and agri-businesses that were surveyed have a clear succession plan in place.

“Our IFAC farm report released earlier this year confirmed 86% of farmers do not have a clear succession plan in place – an interesting correlation that suggests business owners are not planning for their long-term future.

“Successful intergenerational wealth accumulation and preservation remains an unplanned aspiration for the majority of business owners.”

Planning for the future

Meanwhile, O’Donoghue pointed to the “many reasons” for the failure among business-owners to plan for a future event “that they will eventually face”.

Entrepreneurs seek out unmet market needs and create profitable products or services which meet those needs.

He added: “They then have to work with ferocious intensity to gain market share and financial return for their ingenuity.

“The businesses surveyed for this report are sustainable employers – creating jobs and delivering investment throughout the island of Ireland.

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“We believe entrepreneurs in this sector need more support so they can grow, drive innovation and create strong, durable and successful businesses.

“Unleashing the power and potential of food and agri-businesses that have the talent, attitude and aptitude to drive the economy forward and improve the lives and opportunity afforded to people who want to live and work in their local communities, is fundamental to Ireland’s future.”