Forestry and horticulture sectors top agenda at All-Island civic dialogue

The forestry and horticulture sectors were top of the agenda at an All-Island civic dialogue to discuss the implications of Brexit for the agri-food sector earlier today.

The All-Island civic dialogue was hosted by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle.

The implications for the forestry, horticulture, prepared consumer foods and cereals/animal feed sectors, were all considered.

This followed on from earlier dialogues that were held in December and last week which examined issues for the beef, dairy, sheep, pigs, poultry and fisheries sectors, according to the Department.

Speaking after the event, which took place in Gormanston, Co. Meath, Minister Creed referred to the comprehensive consultations that had taken place in recent weeks.

“I have been delighted with the response of the agri-food sector, both north and south, to this all-island initiative, which has allowed us to discuss in some detail the implications of Brexit for the sector and the potential responses that will be required as the negotiations unfold.

“We again had a very strong turnout today, and a very positive and constructive engagement from all concerned,” Minister Creed said.

As with previous dialogues, the discussions today covered a range of issues, including the short-term effects of the ongoing uncertainty.

The longer-term challenges posed by potential changes in the areas of tariffs and trade, regulations and standards, and border controls and certification were also discussed.

Meanwhile, the opportunity to engage further with representatives from the horticulture and forestry sectors was welcomed by Minister of State Doyle.

I am acutely aware of the particular challenges that Brexit presents for the horticulture and forestry sectors given their unique exposure to the UK market.

“Today’s discussions are an integral part of the Government’s efforts to ensure that their concerns are fully understood and taken on board,” he said.

The next event scheduled as part of the All Island Civic Dialogue is set to take place in Dublin Castle on February 17.