Rural Support and agri-leaders join forces

This year’s Balmoral Show saw the coming together of regional charity Rural Support and one of Europe’s leading privately owned agri-business companies – ABP - to highlight the importance of the agri-industry working together to address the significant challenges it faces and discuss what can practically be done in relation to support, information and guidance to help farmers and their families.
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The event, attended by over 60 key stakeholders across industry and government involved a panel discussion focused on the significant and real challenges that farmers across Northern Ireland are dealing with and the realistic ways of managing the rapid change that the sector is experiencing as a result of various factors, including the impact of input costs.

George Mullan, Managing Director of ABP Northern Ireland commented: “We are all aware of the challenges out there at the minute and those that are coming as we move rapidly towards Autumn. Unpredictability is now the new norm. Today’s event organised by Rural Support provides an opportunity to see what we as a sector can do together as we face into these challenges.”

The panel, which was made up of several industry representatives who are working day to day with farmers and their families, spoke about the real impact that the current challenges is having on the ground.

The Discussion Panel including Karen PattersonThe Discussion Panel including Karen Patterson
The Discussion Panel including Karen Patterson

Veronica Morris, Chief Executive of Rural Support said: “We at Rural Support are acutely aware of the impact that current challenges in the industry are having on farming families across Northern Ireland and many of these are outside our control.

“What we want to ensure is that the farming community know where and how to access support before the current pressures begin to impact their well-being. Rural Support is committed to working with our industry stakeholders to support the farming community through this period in a practical and constructive way. I wish to thank ABP for hosting this event today and we look forward to continuing to work together to support our farmers in the months that lie ahead.”

This year Rural Support celebrates its 20th year and, in that time, the organisation has supported over 10,000 members of farm families across Northern Ireland providing independent guidance and support.

Originally set up in response to the Foot and Mouth Crisis, the organisation now has a team of over 70 working to deliver a range of programmes and support services in support of the farm business and the personal well-being of family members. While there are significant challenges ahead, the take-away message from this event was that the future is always difficult to predict but the farming community is resilient, and support is available.

Minister Poots addressing the audienceMinister Poots addressing the audience
Minister Poots addressing the audience

If you would like to find out more about Rural Support and their services and programmes go to the NI Farm Support hub at or telephone the Support Line on Freephone 0800 138 1678 available Mon-Fri 9am-9pm.