Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Implications of Brexit for Agriculture Sector: Discussion (Resumed)

3:30 pm

Mr. Padraig Brennan:

We have to consider a couple of factors in terms of what the UK consumer is prepared to pay for some of these products in such a scenario because it is next to impossible to see how food prices could stay at their current levels in the UK. The first issue is the level of tolerance for an increase in consumer food prices in the UK. Traditionally there has not been a great appetite for this in the UK. It is a challenge. We have to consider that throughout the supply chain, we are looking at a sector with a tight margin. With such percentages, the leeway is not in the supply chain to handle those tariff implications if the WTO's doomsday scenario were to emerge. It would leave us in a severe situation.

If I recall correctly, this year we paid out approximately €1.25 million in grants to approximately 50 companies through the marketing assistance programme and the step change programme is part of that. The bulk of it went out through the marketing assistance programme. We can find the regional breakdown figures but I do not have them to hand. A demographic and regional spread is attached to that but the total figure so far this year is approximately €1.25 million.