AIB: Farmers should seek help for Brexit scenarios

It was understandable less than one in five farmers were actively factoring Brexit into future business plans given uncertainty levels, according to AIB’s head of agriculture Dr Anne Finnegan.
AIB: Farmers should seek help for Brexit scenarios

She was commenting on Ipsos MRBI research commissioned by AIB and conducted via face-to-face interviews with a broadly representative sample of 554 Irish farmers between April 10 and May 19.

Dr Finnegan said farmers are clearly worried about the impact of Brexit, with three in four noting concerns for their businesses — most particularly regarding market uncertainty, reduced output prices, and declined direct payment receipts.

She uged farmers to factor in the potential impacts of Brexit and to consider how they might better position their farm business to withstand any medium to long term consequences.

“From a farmer’s perspective, given that they are price takers, all they can do in the face of a significant external threat such as Brexit is to focus on what is within their control.

“Farmers should look within the farm gate and focus on cost effectiveness and improving on-farm efficiencies to mitigate Brexit risks. I’d encourage farmers and small businesses to seek professional help as necessary and plan for the worst case scenario. Anything better will result in the business being better positioned,” she said.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil spokesperson Charlie McConalogue has called on the Government to allocate additional funding to Bord Bia to enable it take on staff and open offices in new markets. This would place Ireland and Irish food products on a more secure footing in a post-Brexit world, he said.

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