Opportunity for agri-food to lead on sustainability – NIFDA

Opportunity for agri-food to lead on sustainability – NIFDA
NIFDA'S Michael Bell

The agri-food sector locally can lead on improving environmental sustainability, the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association has said.

Welcoming the new framework for future agriculture policy launched by DAERA Minister Edwin Poots, Michael Bell, Executive Director of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) said building on the industry’s integrity credentials is key to securing future growth for agri-food.

“Consumers are increasingly conscious of the provenance and environmental footprint of the food they eat,” Michael said. “Northern Ireland food and drink is already world leading when it comes to environmental sustainability, animal welfare, quality and commercial success but of course there is more work to be done. Minister Poots is right to highlight the importance of enhancing sustainability as he maps out a framework for future food policy in Northern Ireland.

“The drive to net zero carbon emissions is one of the key policy objectives facing governments worldwide, and all sectors of industry and society will have a part to play in delivering it. This certainly poses a challenge to food producers and processors in Northern Ireland, but it also provides an opportunity for the industry locally to demonstrate how it can be part of the solution on sustainability, while continuing to grow and remaining competitive internationally.

“At NIFDA we will continue to work with the Minister in the months and years ahead to offer practical solutions to these policy objectives and futureproof Northern Ireland food and drink. The challenges and opportunities facing the industry will also be addressed in the independent strategic review of NI agri-food, led by Sir Peter Kendall. We are delighted that Sir Peter will be speaking at our NIFDA Business Conference on 3 September, where he will discuss these issues and share key insights, ahead of the launch of his report later in the Autumn.”

Tickets are still available for the 2021 NIFDA Business Conference. For further information and to book your place online, visit https://nifda.co.uk/nifda-business-conference-2021/.