Agriculture Committee visits Kepak Group in Clonee to discuss innovation of the agri-food sector

Members of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine travelled to Clonee in County Meath yesterday to visit an Irish-owned meat-processing company that is active in more than 30 countries worldwide.

09 November 2017

Kepak Group is an Irish based food company serving international markets and is one of the meat companies behind the meat technology Ireland initiative set up under ‘Innovation 2020’.

Speaking today, Committee Chair, Pat Deering TD, said, “Our Committee acknowledges the importance of innovation for the agri-food sector and we visited Kepak yesterday with the intention of gaining an insight into the workings of the company in this regard. We also visited the Kepak Farm in Caulstown, Dunboyne and observed the techniques in use there at farm level which will enhance beef prospects for the future.”

“Brexit is already having a significant impact on the meat sector, which already has the highest WTO tariffs, averaging at 50% and 100% in some cases. We learned yesterday that the impact of additional export costs (tariff, Customs, transactional procedure and veterinary checks) has the potential to reduce EU trade to the UK by 86% for beef, 51% for sheepmeat and 79% for pigmeat. These are significant figures and are of great concern to the Committee. The sector also faces challenges in labour resourcing and counteracting the environmental impact of meat production.”

“Kepak opened up new markets in the USA and China and our visit will certainly help inform the Committee’s view on Brexit and the agri-food sector, which is an area of paramount importance for us in our work programme. In February of this year, the Committee published a report on Brexit and agri-food and we hope to produce another in due course, due to the rapidly evolving nature of the Brexit process.”

Read the Committee’s Report here

 

ENDS/

Media enquiries:

Nuala Walsh,
Press & Communications Officer,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
Leinster House,
Dublin 2.
P: +353 1 618 3437
M: +353 86 4100 898
Email: Nuala.Walsh@Oireachtas.ie
Twitter: @OireachtasNews

Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Pat Deering (Fine Gael)

Vice-Chair: Jackie Cahill (Fianna Fáil)

Deputies:

Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy (Fine Gael)
Martin Kenny (Sinn Féin)
Charlie McConalogue (Fianna Fáil)
Willie Penrose (Labour)
Thomas Pringle (Independents4Change)

Senators:

Paul Daly (Fianna Fáil)
Tim Lombard (Fine Gael)
Pádraig MacLochlainn (Sinn Féin)
Michelle Mulherin (Fine Gael)