Impacts of Brexit on Irish agriculture set to be discussed at major forum

The impacts of Brexit on Irish agriculture are set to be discussed at a major forum, which is being organised by the Agricultural Science Association (ASA).

Scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 23, the ASA believes the event is likely to coincide with the British Prime Minister, Teresa May, invoking Article 50.

The British Prime Minister has previously committed to invoke Article 50 by the end of March, which will trigger the formal two-year negotiation process to leave the EU.

The line-up for the session includes the Chair of Food Wise 2025, John Moloney; Senior Strategic Advisor on Brexit to the Foresight International Policy and Regulatory Advisers (FIPRA), Lucinda Creighton; Economist, Jim Power and IFA President, Joe Healy.

Speakers are expected to discuss and debate what the Irish agri-food industry needs to do to survive in a post-Brexit economy.

The event comes in the wake of the recent report by the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, which recommended that a re-evaluation of targets set in Food Wise 2025 should be undertaken in the wake of Brexit.

Brexit is the dominant issue for the Irish agri-food industry at the moment, ASA President, Mary Delaney, said.

While many in our industry are already feeling the impact of the sterling currency fluctuations, we are still unclear as to what the broader, longer-term implications will be.

“We need to continue to explore the best ways of safe-guarding our industry, while identifying new market opportunities in order to define a clear pathway forward,” she said.

It is hoped that the panelists will explore how the Irish agri-food industry can maintain a strong foothold in post-Brexit Britain and how the industry should diversify its products to explore new markets.

Panelists are also set to consider the recommendations of recent reports such as that of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the free-trade agreement recommended by the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce.

The event will be chaired by the Managing Director of Big Picture Communications, Brian Purcell.

The ASA conference on the ‘Impact of Brexit on Irish Agriculture’ is set to run from 2.30pm to 4pm on Thursday, March 23, in the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny.