Ministers discuss impacts of the ongoing Ukraine crisis on local food supply chains

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has attended an emergency meeting with his UK ministerial counterparts, to discuss the impacts of the ongoing Ukraine crisis on Northern Ireland’s food supply.
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During the meeting, ministers Poots, Prentis, Gougeon and Griffiths looked at the immediate and medium term impacts on the food supply chains in their respective local agri-food industries.

Following the meeting, Mr Poots, commented: “Given the crucial roles that both Russia and Ukraine play in global agri-food markets, I have grave concerns the longer the conflict continues, the more likely we are to see a real and damaging impact on our local industries.

“There is no doubt raising input costs such as energy, grain and fertiliser will lead to increase in food prices and we need to prepare for that.”

Edwin Poots, DAERA MinisterEdwin Poots, DAERA Minister
Edwin Poots, DAERA Minister

The DAERA Minister is urgently organising several meetings with key NI food supply stakeholders over the coming days to discuss these issues, list industry concerns and implement suitable mitigations to keep our food supply safe for Northern Ireland.

He continued: “The NI agri-food sector has already undergone a period of severe disruption as a result of the Covid pandemic and the unworkable complexities of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“Alongside reductions in labour supply, rising input costs, supply chain disruption and concerns about long running inflation they are all combining to create a perfect storm.

“I will now meet with a range of stakeholders to find out the challenges they are facing and what we, in government, may be able to do to help,” he concluded.