Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has raised the requirement for extra resources for Bord Bia, the agency tasked with promoting Irish food at home and abroad, to enable it to adequately market Irish foods abroad in a post-Brexit scenario.
“Kildare is home to many food based companies. It is essential that we sustain the growth in our food export business, given the challenges that Brexit present. The UK accounts for more than 40% of Irish food exports, and Kildare is home to much of that business.”
“Despite the outcome of the Brexit referendum last year, the Government has only allocated €2m in additional funding to Bord Bia in its 2017 budget. Bord Bia is responsible for promoting and marketing Irish food products, both here in Ireland, and right across the globe.”
“The industry is facing a very serious challenge following Britain’s decision to leave the EU, and we need to ensure that new markets and opportunities are explored to ensure that we protect the many jobs that are associated with this important Industry.”
“As I have mentioned in the Dail 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, the Queally Group, Tara Vale Foods, Green Isle Group, Brady Farm Food located in Timahoe, and Ballymooney Foods located in Clane.”
“Since my election, I have campaigned for the area of North Kildare to be designated as a Food Hub. Kildare County Council’s CEO has also supported calls for the area to be designated as a Food Hub. 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.”
“Bord Bia has 13 international offices, but only 5 of them are located outside of the EU. The EU-Japan trade deal now allows access of Irish dairy and meat product into Japan. However, there is no Bord Bia bureau in Japan,” stated Deputy O’Rourke having raised the issue with his colleague, Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Agriculture & Food, Charlie McConalogue TD.