The UFU has attended the Navigating Global Trade Brexit and Beyond Conference in RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Keynote speaker was Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Other speakers included John Clarke Director DG Agri, David Taylor New Zealand ambassador to the EU and NATO, Brendan Gleeson Secretary General DAFM, Anne Randles Ornua, Professor Colm McCarthy Economist, Peter Legge Grant Thornton, and Joe Healy IFA President.
Commissioner Hogan asked all to keep calm at the moment. Not all eventualities can be planned for but that the Irish Government and the EU will step in should the situation arise. He also welcomed that No Deal will now not be used as a negotiation tactic by the UK Government. One point the Commissioner reiterated was that now was not the time to talk the market down.
Suckler beef received strong support from all the main agri leaders. There was a great emphasis on seeking PGI status for grass fed/suckler beef which created a lot of debate. It was also noted that suckler farming was a hugely important system that can turn a rough fibre into one of the best proteins in the world.