Strong food industry crucial to NI economic recovery – NIFDA Northern Ireland food and drink leaders engage with Economy Minister

Northern Ireland food and drink leaders have met with Economy Minister Diane Dodds to discuss the leading role the industry can play in securing Northern Ireland’s economic recovery post-Covid.

Speaking after the meeting Nick Whelan, Chair, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) said:

“We were delighted to welcome Minister Dodds to our board meeting today. These are difficult times for all industries, with businesses across Northern Ireland dealing with the twin challenges of Covid-19 and new post-Brexit trading arrangements, and we appreciate the engagement of the Minister on these issues.

“Despite these challenges, our industry remains strong. Agri-food is a huge economic asset to Northern Ireland – it remains our largest manufacturing industry, representing 16% of our entire local economy, supporting some 100,000 jobs across the supply chain. Our companies are truly world leading when it comes to quality, innovation and commercial success.

“Northern Ireland food and drink is a force for economic growth, and ultimately a strong agri-food sector will be crucial to securing Northern Ireland’s economic recovery from Covid-19. With the right support from government we can grow further, even double our growth to match that of the Republic of Ireland, and create even more sustainable jobs in the process. We welcomed the opportunity to speak with the Minister about how we can unleash that potential in the months and years ahead.”