Agri Aware is encouraging Westmeath’s agri-food sector to stand up and be counted among Irish consumers and influential policy makers. From van drivers to accountants, hundreds of Westmeath’s businesses with an income reliant or partially reliant on the sector will be surveyed over the coming weeks. The aim of the research campaign is to quantify and showcase the economic contribution of the agri-food industry.
Commenting on the research campaign developed by Agri Aware, chairman Mairead Lavery said, “We believe farming and food production generates the largest contribution to the public purse in Ireland of any sector. Furthermore, it retains the largest proportion of its turnover in the country itself. I would ask Westmeath’s organisations to take part in our survey and support us in our drive to become recognised as Ireland’s largest and most important indigenous sector.”
Westmeath IFA county chairman, Paddy Donnelly, also commented on the campaign, saying, “The farming and food sector plays a pivotal economic role in Westmeath. While those involved in the industry know its importance, we also need to communicate its value among consumers and policy makers. I would encourage all within Westmeath’s industry to become involved and support Agri Aware’s campaign.”
John Horgan, chief executive, Kepak Group, Kilbeggan said, “A research campaign of this calibre is needed to reinforce the importance of buying Irish among the public. Consumers who actively purchase locally produced food are not only supporting the greater economy, but the livelihoods and incomes of thousands of people involved in Westmeath’s industry.”
Surveys have been posted to hundreds of businesses involved in the industry in Westmeath. Businesses who have not received a survey can log onto www.agriaware.ie or ring (01 ) 4601103 for information on how to take part. Results will be published this autumn.