Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Monday, 14 June 2021

Seanad Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union

Impact of Brexit on the Food and Drink Industry: Discussion

Photo of Tim LombardTim Lombard (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I welcome our witnesses to the meeting. It is very important we have this engagement. I know Mr. Lavelle and Mr. Mulvihill in particular can give us a real insight in to the dairy and whiskey industries and the issues affecting people on the ground.

I will direct my first question on the dairy industry to Mr. Mulvihill. There has been a lot of talk about milk coming through the North to dairy processors in the Republic. A lot of this milk originated in Northern Ireland itself. Going forward, there are concerns about country of origin and how we can make sure third country status will not apply to some of these products. It is one of the more significant issues in the context of an all-Ireland approach to food. Where does Mr. Mulvihill believe the difficulties lie? What needs to happen so that we can arrive at a sustainable and practical solution?

It is a significant issue for the dairy industry and for how it can cope. Mr. Lavelle might respond to something similar about this all-island approach to the whiskey industry itself? On the issue of products moving North and South in particular, how might that have an input, particularly regarding the whiskey industry? We have seen huge issues pertaining to transport and ports, which also will affect the industry. However, how we work to come up with a suitable compromise so we can have that process solved is very important for the industry itself. Where does he believe the growth is going to come, taking into consideration these issues regarding Brexit?


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