Kildare North Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O Rourke, has called on the Minister for Enterprise Jobs and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland to allocate a special fund for marketing Irish Food products, given the challenge presented by the UK voting to exit the EU.
‘We have seen in recent months that the devaluation of the sterling and the potential for a hard border between UK and Ireland has the potential to negatively affect Irish food exporting companies. These companies are now vulnerable given their heavy reliance on the UK market. Over 40% of the Irish Food exports are exported to the UK.’
‘The Irish Food product is a quality brand that has potential in many markets outside of the UK. While the UK will remain an important market for us, we need to put in place a marketing strategy that promotes our food products more globally.’
‘As I have mentioned in the Dáil on a number of occasions, Naas and the surrounding area is home to many Food related companies, which have strong brands. Examples include, Kerry Food, Dawn Farm Food, Queally Group, Tara Vale Foods, Green Isle, Brady Farm Food located in Timahoe, and Ballymooney Foods located in Clane.’
‘I have seen at first hand the investment that these companies, have made, and continue to make, in terms of product development, technology, human resources and infrastructure. The agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry which employs over 175,000 people with a turnover of €11bn last year. We must support this Industry given the challenges presented by Brexit.’ concluded Deputy O’Rourke after raising the matter in the Dáil.