The Future of Irish Agriculture After Brexit

IIEA23rd June 20172min
Brexit represents one of the most serious risks to the agrifood sector on the island of Ireland in the modern era. Over 40% of Irish food exports go the UK, and every year significant volumes of agricultural produce cross the border with Northern Ireland as part of a complex supply chain. With the possibility of post-Brexit customs posts and trade tariffs between Ireland and the UK, the potential for disruption to this sector is high. In this seminar, representatives of the Irish Farmer’s Association and the Ulster Farmer’s Union discussed the implications of Brexit for the all-island agrifood industry. President Joe Healy of the Irish Farmers’ Association represented the views of farmers in the Republic of Ireland, while Wesley Aston, Chief Executive of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, represented the views of farmers in Northern Ireland. This seminar was part of the IIEA’s All-Island Leaders’ Brexit Forum, which brings together political, business and social leaders from across the island of Ireland to set out their vision for the island’s future in the context of the UK’s proposed withdrawal from the EU.

Podcast: Download the audio podcast from Joe Healy here.

                  Download the audio podcast from Wesley Aston here.

About the Speech:

Brexit represents one of the most serious risks to the agrifood sector on the island of Ireland in the modern era. Over 40% of Irish food exports go the UK, and every year significant volumes of agricultural produce cross the border with Northern Ireland as part of a complex supply chain. With the possibility of post-Brexit customs posts and trade tariffs between Ireland and the UK, the potential for disruption to this sector is high. In this seminar, representatives of the Irish Farmer’s Association and the Ulster Farmer’s Union discussed the implications of Brexit for the all-island agrifood industry. President Joe Healy of the Irish Farmers’ Association represented the views of farmers in the Republic of Ireland, while Wesley Aston, Chief Executive of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, represented the views of farmers in Northern Ireland. This seminar was part of the IIEA’s All-Island Leaders’ Brexit Forum, which brings together political, business and social leaders from across the island of Ireland to set out their vision for the island’s future in the context of the UK’s proposed withdrawal from the EU.

About the Speaker:

Joe Healy is President of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA). He is a director of Bord Bia, the Irish food marketing board and Chairman of the COPA Working Party on the Food Chain. He was President of Macra na Feirme from 1995–1997 and Vice-Chairman of CEJA (European Young Farmers’ Association) from 1997 to 1999. He is a dairy and livestock farmer from Athenry, Co. Galway. Wesley Aston is Chief Executive of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU). He started his career with the UFU in 1991, firstly as Policy Officer for Pigs, Poultry and Fish Farming before moving across to cover Dairying and heading up the Union’s Policy Team in 1995 and more recently the Union’s Communications Team. He grew up and still lives on a small livestock farm in Markethill, Co Armagh and he graduated from Edinburgh University with a Degree in Agriculture.