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Clare agri-food businesses ‘hugely exposed’ to Brexit

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Farmers and the agri businesses in Clare are becoming very worried with the lack of solutions put forward on a national level with Brexit approaching according to Cllr Cathal Crowe.

Whatever deal emerges from Brexit, the Fianna Fáil general election candidate said “measures will still be needed to support the sector”.

“Agri-food businesses in the county are hugely exposed to Brexit. There are more than 6,000 families involved in farming as well as dozens of small, artisan food producers who do not have the financial resources to deal with a major shock They have worked incredibly hard to build up their reputations and earn their place on UK shelves.  Any disruption to the East-West supply chain could see Irish, locally sourced products lose their market share and be replaced with products from other countries,” he said in a statement to The Clare Echo.

He continued, “The government is leaving these families in limbo. There is a complete lack of communication when it comes to Brexit planning. With around 80,000 beef cows in the county, Clare’s dependency on beef production is double that of dairy. Nearly all agri-commentators predict that the beef and live export sectors will be worst hit by a no-deal Brexit yet virtually nothing has been put in place to ensure a ‘soft landing’ for farm families who depend on the buoyancy of these markets. There is still no clarity on the landbridge, alternative shipping routes to continental Europe or the capacity of our ships to manage additional freight”.

Crowe said farmers and businesses are unable to plan ahead as they do not have access “to the most basic information”.

Meanwhile a second meeting of the newly formed Beef Plan Movement will take place next Wednesday in The Falls Hotel at 19:30.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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