Thursday, 15 October 2020
Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group representing the food and drink sector, has called on Government to urgently introduce a state backed export credit insurance scheme in Ireland following the European Commission’s decision this week to extend the state aid derogation allowing for this.
Paul Kelly, FDI Director outlined: “The market disruption caused by Covid-19 and Brexit has made it difficult for Irish exporters to maintain existing sales to core markets and to diversify into new markets. Earlier this week the European Commission extended the State Aid Temporary Framework to June 2021 which allows for state backed export credit insurance schemes. The extension was because the Commission has identified the continued general lack of sufficient private capacity to cover all economically justifiable risks for exports.
“Virtually every other European country has introduced state backed export credit insurance and Ireland is now an outlier. The lack of such a scheme in Ireland puts our €13 billion of food and drink exports at a competitive disadvantage, not just in new markets but in their core markets. The potential for Irish food manufacturers and exporters to maintain business with many customers already challenged by Covid-19 disruption, in particular in food service, is being undermined. Market challenges will be exacerbated in the New Year as Brexit impact hits, irrespective of the outcome. The lack of progress on a state backed export credit insurance scheme must be rectified urgently.”