NI food and drink industry and the UFU welcome independent review into sector

The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) has welcomed the announcement of the Independent Strategic Review of Agri-Food, led by former National Farmers Union president and AHDB Chair, Sir Peter Kendall.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 3:11 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd April 2021, 3:44 pm
Michael Bell
Michael Bell

The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) has welcomed the announcement of the Independent Strategic Review of Agri-Food, led by former National Farmers Union president and AHDB Chair, Sir Peter Kendall.

Commenting, NIFDA Executive Director Michael Bell, pictured, highlighted the strategic importance of the industry to Northern Ireland, and the role agri-food has to play in securing the region’s recovery from the pandemic.

Michael Bell, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) said: “We look forward to working closely with Sir Peter as he assesses the industry and develops his thoughts on the way forward. Northern Ireland food and drink is already world leading when it comes to quality, sustainability, integrity and commercial success.

“We are a £5 billion industry, supporting some 100,000 jobs across Northern Ireland. This review provides an opportunity to identify how we can do even better and help secure Northern Ireland’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

“NIFDA continues to work tirelessly to support the industry and ensure the voice of our members is heard. We will be publishing our own report next month, which will further show the value of our industry, and highlight measures that can be taken by government to encourage boost exports, and encourage further innovation particularly to improve our sustainability and environmental footprint.”

Meanwhile, the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has welcomed an independent strategic review into the future of the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland (NI).

The six-month review will be led by former president of the National Farmers’ Union, Sir Peter Kendall. It will look at the challenges that the food processing and primary agriculture industries are currently experiencing and will suggest how to utilise new opportunities.

UFU president Victor Chestnutt said: “We are fully supportive of the independent review into the future of the NI agri-food sector. The farming landscape has changed significantly in the past year alone with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the UK’s exit from the EU which brought with it new trading arrangements and the implementation of the NI Protocol.

“The review will help us look to the future, take advantage of the opportunities and develop our agri-food industry to ensure it thrives, becomes more sustainable and profitable going forward. We look forward to engaging with Sir Peter Kendall and the review team.”