IFA president, Tim Cullinan, said he was “very concerned” about the impact of border closures on the movement of Irish agri-food exports to the continent, and on the efficiency of the food supply chain.
“We have normal trade across to the UK. The difficulties relate to the movement of freight which is trying to get across the UK landbridge to the continent,” he said.
“This level of disruption could be very damaging for the movement of stock off farms and the efficient functioning of the supply chain,” he said.
“There are reports of trucks backed up as they try to get to their market. Whatever restrictions are needed cannot impede the movement of food,” he said.
Cullinan said he will be contacting the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and asking him to intervene at EU level to clear any bottlenecks in the system.
“The problems with the orderly movement of goods underlines the importance of securing an agreement in the Brexit talks that avoids a no-deal scenario,” he said.
IFA and NFU Brexit meeting
On Friday, the IFA and the NFU met to discuss the latest developments on Brexit.
In a joint statement afterwards, both presidents said trade on the island of Ireland, and the trade flows east-west and west-east between here and the UK, are important to the economies on these islands.
The two farm leaders set out the key principles that farmers want to see as part of a deal.
- IFA and NFU re-affirmed the importance of avoiding a ‘no-deal’ scenario. They appealed to both sets of negotiators to remain steadfast in pursuit of an agreement for arrangements on Jan 1
- Minette Batters and Tim Cullinan re-stated their firm commitment to the adherence to world-class standards that underpin food production in the UK and Ireland. They insisted that any future deal guarantees full recognition of these standards.
- Trade on the island of Ireland, and the trade flows East-West and West-East between here and the UK, are important to the economies on these islands. Every effort must be made to safeguard trade in agri-food goods, which plays a crucial role in the prosperity of rural communities.
- IFA and NFU re-affirmed their commitment to working together for the benefit of Irish and British farmers.