Love Irish Food And SFA Foresee Brexit Effect On Christmas Business
Love Irish Food and the Small Firms Association (SFA) have called on consumers to consider the food and drinks they buy this Christmas, warning that Brexit could pose a serious threat to indigenous Irish food businesses that provide employment and support local economies.
Both organisations anticipate a greater presence of imported brands and private label food products as the currency value of Sterling continues to weaken in the lead up to Brexit. Such a development, according to Love Irish Food and SFA, risks hampering local economies and could lead to potential job losses throughout the country in the food and drink manufacturing sector especially in the run up to Christmas.
Love Irish Food and SFA said 230,000 jobs are linked to food and drink manufacturing in Ireland, 52,000 of which are direct jobs in the sector.
Both organisations also noted that the food and drinks manufacturing sector was a strong contributor to employment and household income in rural areas, with 78% being outside Dublin and regionally dispersed.
Kieran Rumley, Executive Director, Love Irish Food, said: “We need to acknowledge how much richer our lives are for the great national and regional Irish made food and drink brands. These locally made food and drinks brands are not only made for Irish tastes, but also support many more jobs in other localities as they continue to use locally sourced ingredients. It’s so important that people consider the food and drinks that they’re buying and that they support local Irish companies and jobs by buying Irish and looking for the Love Irish Food logo.”
Patricia Callan, Director, SFA, commented: “The Irish food industry is a UK-focused export sector, with 41% of our food and drinks exports destined for our neighbouring country. The most immediate concern is the currency value – if Sterling settles around £0.90, this would translate to losses of over €700 million in food exports and could cost 7,500 jobs. Longer term, we risk a loss of confidence in Ireland as a competitive supply base for the UK. Measures must be taken to support our local food companies so that they can compete nationally and internationally.
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