Independent Strategic Review of the Northern Ireland Agri-Food Sector sets out strategic advances to combat Brexit and climate challenges

Brexit and GB-NI trading arrangements, coupled with the climate emergency, have created an unprecedented challenge for the Northern Ireland agri-food sector.

As a result, a panel of agri-food experts led by Sir Peter Kendall, ex-Chair of the NFU for England and Wales and including Dr Clive Black, Shore Capital’s Head of Research, undertook a six month Independent Strategic Review of the NI Agri-Food Sector (ISRAF) with the support of Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots and Economy Minister Diane Dodds.

The review, published on 25 January, suggests a number of strategic advances aimed at addressing challenges and making the most of Government support measures, including:

  • The creation of a Northern Ireland Diamond model for agri-food, with a centre of science and research excellence at its core;
  • An all-embracing industry-led Sustainability Body raising, measuring and certifying environmental and carbon credentials of everything from apples and oats to venison and yoghurt;
  • The wholesale mapping of Northern Ireland’s soils to give a baseline for the demanding journey towards net zero;
  • A joined up ‘circular economy’ which takes NI’s nutrient surplus and repurposes it to decarbonise energy supply, replace imported fertiliser, peat compost and more;
  • A new agricultural policy which drives data management, productivity improvements, innovation, soil health and long term environmental recovery;
  • A food-processing sector supported to invest in innovation; and
  • A big bold drive to make the sector more competitive and attractive by upskilling its workforce and developing its leaders.

The full Review is available here.

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Note to editor

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