Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit and TD for Mayo, Lisa Chambers, has said the agri-food sector needs solutions and support in the face of Brexit. Deputy Chambers made her comments following a meeting with key stakeholders in the agri-food sector to discuss the implications of Brexit.
Deputy Chambers commented: "Along with my colleagues, deputies Charlie McConalogue, Billy Kelleher, Jackie Cahill and Senator Paul Daly, I met with key stakeholders in the agri-food sector and the one of the main take-away’s from the meeting is that this sector needs supports and solutions even in the event of an orderly Brexit.
"The reality is that our agri-food sector is extremely exposed to Brexit and whilst numerous reports have been done on the implications of Brexit for this sector, the Government has offered very little in the way of support or solutions. Whilst diversifying into new markets is of course welcome, it can take years to make inroads in this regard and this industry needs short to medium term solutions to help mitigate fthe worst effects of Brexit.
"Our agri-food industry has worked tremendously hard to build up its reputation and earn a place on UK shelves and any disruption to the East-West supply chain could see Irish products lose their market share and be replaced with products from other countries, which would have long-term negative implications for the sector.
"With approximately six weeks to go until March 29, the Government needs to be communicating what the plan is. For example, there is still no clarity on the land-bridge, alternative shipping routes to continental Europe or the capacity of our ships to manage additional freight. This is exceptionally important and a basic ask for time sensitive products in the agri-food sector.
"The Government must ensure that it does all it can to protect this industry and the thousands of people employed in this sector. A plan after the event happens is not a plan at all and the industry urgently needs adequate supports, solutions and a way forward if it is to survive Brexit," concluded Deputy Chambers.