Northern Ireland’s Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster told delegates at the Future of Food Summit in Dublin that there are growing opportunities for the agri food sectors: North and South. Significantly, the Stormont Minister highlighted the absolute necessity for a free, cross border trade in agri-food products to be developed.
“And this must operate in both directions,” she said.
“I know that there is cooperation between my Department through Invest Northern Ireland and organisations in the Republic of Ireland such as Bord Bía and Enterprise Ireland. It is vital our Government bodies work together to break down barriers to allow for the free flow of trade across our border. Our food and drink industries both rely on export markets and we should build on our cooperation. We must recognise by working together we can achieve much more, ultimately creating a platform from which we can collectively sell more into our target global markets.”
She said that both jurisdictions need to ensure that we can get trade flowing freely across the border, whether this is cattle or pigs moving from farms and factories in the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland factories or eggs and milk from farms and factories in Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland. “It is vital that all our Government bodies work together to ensure this happens.
“Let us therefore take today as an opportunity to re-establish and rebuild our mutual cooperation, recognising that by working together in promoting our food and drink industries we can achieve much more, ultimately creating a platform from which we can collectively sell more into our target global markets.
“We have great quality, tasty food, which is sustainably and safely produced, and has a positive global image. Let us go forward, confidently communicating across the world just how good our food is. Let us work together where it makes sense, and let us do this with a sense of urgency and passion; because our food and drink is ready to take a bigger bite of the world market and compete with the best in the world.”