Stanley calls for Protection of Agri-food sector
Midlands Agri-food sector and supply chains must be protected – Deputy Brian Stanley
Sinn Féin Agriculture and Food spokesperson Deputy Brian Stanley has called for appropriate measures to be implemented in the agri-food sector to ensure food supply chains continue to operate as normal.
Deputy Stanley said:
“It is paramount that we ensure that food production for the domestic and export market is not interrupted by Covid-19. Here in the Midlands we have a large agri food sector and it is important that it continues to operate as near as possible to normal.
“To achieve that we need to ensure that workers fulfilling those vital jobs are protected and can continue to do their work. This means enforcing the 2metre rule and on-site hygiene best practice.
“It has been reported that Irish food processors have seen their order go up by more than 60 per cent and due to this they will need to be more vigilant than ever to ensure that the sector continues to operate as usual.
“Marts, food processing plants and agri suppliers must be able to continue to operate as a crucial part of the supply chain but they must ensure that the risk to workers and customers is reduced as much as possible. Management of these businesses need to ensure that the advice being given by the Chief Medical Officer and the HSE is followed regarding social distancing, hygiene etc
“I have contacted Minister Creed asking him to ensure that these conditions will be imposed, and I have also requested that the Minister establish a National Taskforce for the agri-food sector for the period of this crisis. It is essential that farmers, the Department, Teagasc and other stakeholders work together in a co-ordinated way to ensure the continued operation of food supply chains.
“These are difficult times for farmers, businesses and workers in the sector. They need flexibility from our banks and lending institutions to reschedule repayments and the availability of overdraft facilities.”