Full agenda for NIGTA at quarterly meeting

The Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association NIGTA held its quarterly meeting recently at the Culloden hotel.

There was a full agenda on the day including detailed discussions on new deforestation regulations (EUDR) for raw materials such as Soya which come into effect on 1st January 2025.

These regulations seek to prohibit the use of raw materials that have been produced on land that has been illegally deforested, particularly in the world’s rainforests. In relation to this, Leprino Foods, a leading name in Mozzarella production, gave a presentation on the future demands from retailers and supermarkets to show compliance with the new standards.

Some dairy farmers supplying into Leprino’s milk pool are already making preparations in advance. Getting the correct certification from suppliers in growing regions globally is proving a major challenge and is highly likely to have a cost impact on the raw materials concerned.

Food Fortress is now independent of NIGTA and has rolled out right across Ireland and into GB. This industry leading initiative was started by NIGTA more than ten years ago as a safeguard against contaminants getting into feeds and therefore the food chain. The scheme has been a major success with strategic sampling and testing done in conjunction with a matrix planned by the Institute of Global food Security (IGFS) at Queens University, Belfast who will continue to run it independently.

Keiran Shields reported on the main concerns for the Country Compounders which were common to all and included the incoming EUDR regulations and the availability of skilled labour.

Mary Preston, Technical Manager at Moy Park who heads up the NIGTA Legal and Scientific Committee updated the delegates on developments on feed additive applications and authorisations as well as veterinary medicines regulations within the Windsor framework.

Jim Uprichard, sustainability manager at Trouw Nutrition reported on a successful run of Feed Advisor training sessions at CAFRE, Greenmount. NIGTA Feed Advisors and others in the agri-food industry have been availing of a Carbon Awareness course jointly designed by CAFRE and NIGTA. The course aims to provide those interacting with farmers the knowledge to help them improve their carbon footprint and to be aware of the mitigation strategies available.

NI is committed in legislation to reducing its carbon emissions and farming needs to play its part in that journey. Much of what needs to be done can improve farm profitability and therefore can be a win-win for both the farmer and the environment.

The guest speaker on the day was Dr Anne Richmond, Director of Research and Development at Pilgrims, Europe. Anne spoke about her career so far at Moy Park/Pilgrims and how the business of producing chicken has improved, changed and evolved over many years. She is optimistic about the industry and expects to see continued growth and development in the coming years. As with all businesses in the agri-food sector, there is a strong emphasis on sustainability and carbon emission reductions coupled with a strong desire to improve animal welfare.

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