Bord Bia plan for exporters to UK

Market development, diversification, managing volatility and regular information updates will help Irish food and drink exporters manage Brexit- related impacts, Bord Bia has stated.

The agri-food marketing body is hosting a Brexit briefing for Irish food, drink and horticultural suppliers on July 6 in Thomas Prior Hall, Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge (formerly Bewleys Hotel), Dublin.

Speakers from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, AIB, IGD and food industry leaders will discuss ‘Implications of the UK withdrawal from the EU’.

A post-vote survey of food and drink exporters has shown that 40% expect their sales to decline, and 20% are worried about exchange rate volatility.

About one- third plan to seek out new markets, but two-thirds aim to stay in the UK market by cutting costs and recovering losses via higher prices.

Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter said: “While our post-Brexit survey of food and drink companies indicates obvious concern, exporters have expressed a desire to hold their ground in the UK and are seeking assistance in developing the skills they require to manage their way through the current difficulties based on insight and feedback from UK customers, buyers and consumers.”

Exporters have called upon Bord Bia to give them information and regular updates on the UK market and on the UK-EU negotiations and implications as they unfold.

The briefing will outline Bord Bia’s plans to support its clients with consumer and market insights, industry advice, plus buyer events.

The briefing will provide a forum for information sharing on Brexit and for talks on some of the implications and possible outcomes. Bord Bia will outline how it plans to assist companies navigate the volatile trading environment.

Irish food and drink exports to the UK accounted for 41% of exports in 2015, valued at €4.4bn, which represented a 7% rise on 2014. Ireland is also the UK’s largest market for food and drink exports.

Aidan Cotter added: “The resilience of the Irish food sector, the longstanding and strong trading relationship between Ireland and the UK, and the close ties that exist between both countries will help the Irish food industry navigate through these uncertain times.

“Bord Bia’s London office is in close engagement with Ireland’s leading customers across the UK and we will work closely with industry and with the department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as the negotiations commence.”

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