Poots pledges to push government to tackle food cost and supply issues

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots pledged to continue to pressure senior cabinet ministers to act on rising food prices, energy costs and labor shortages. work.

Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Edwin Poots, MPP

At a meeting in London today (Wednesday), he said our local agri-food sector was under ‘enormous pressure’.

‘Today I met senior ministers and industry representatives to discuss issues relating to the UK food supply, including rising prices and labor shortages I have underscored the need for action and will continue to press for solutions that work for everyone, especially ahead of the winter months,” Minister Poots explained.

“I am extremely concerned about developments in Ukraine following the Russian invasion and the major influence this is having on global agrifood markets. The longer the conflict lasts, the more likely we are to see a real and damaging impact on our local industries.

“Our agribusiness industry has already been under a period of enormous pressure due to the pandemic and the complexities of the Northern Ireland protocol. Reductions in labor supply, rising input costs, disruption supply chain and concerns about long-term inflation are combining to create a ‘perfect storm'”, he added.

Minister Poots said the main areas of concern relate to the cost and availability of grain and fertilizers and that we need to be as prepared as possible for prolonged disruptions to supply chains due to the ongoing conflict.

“In addition to addressing issues affecting local agriculture and food processing, my department is also committed to developing and implementing processes and contingency plans with other relevant government departments that aim to address food supply risks and to ensure that we are better prepared to respond to possible future food security issues,” added Minister Poots.

High-level representatives from the food industry, supermarkets, hospitality sector and food processors also attended the meeting.

While in London, Minister Poots also took the opportunity to meet George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to discuss a number of issues relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol and to urge action at UK level to address the impact of the Ukrainian crisis on the food industry.

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