Thursday, 24 December 2020Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group representing the food and drink sector, has welcomed the agreement reached between the EU and the UK on a future trading relationship.
Paul Kelly, FDI Director said: “The agreement is welcome as disastrous tariffs have been avoided but the agreement reached is still very much a hard Brexit. Food and drink companies will face substantial non-tariff barriers to trade between Ireland and Great Britain with customs, SPS and other food safety requirements in a few days’ time.
“This will lead to substantial ongoing costs which will have to be absorbed not just by the food supply chain but by consumers as well. Reaching agreement on measures to ease and facilitate customs and SPS requirements should now be a priority for both sides. This is the only way to reduce trade friction and limit the costs passed onto the food chain and the consumer”.
FDI is now also calling for measures to support Irish food and drink companies maintain their valuable UK market position and diversify into new markets, including; a state backed export credit insurance scheme, increased investment in innovation, skills, enabling technologies and market development. FDI believe that the EU’s €5bn Brexit Adjustment Fund must be utilised to support the most exposed sector in the most exposed country in addition to domestic funding from the Government’s Brexit Contingency Fund.