EU support must be on standby in face of sector collapse - McConalogue
A readiness to deploy EU support is required in order to keep supply chains operational and to prevent the collapse of a vital sector, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said.
The comments came while speaking at Monday's informal videoconference of EU agriculture and fisheries ministers.
Minister McConalogue said: "The agri food sector is still significantly affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is also facing into the eye of the storm as the end of the Brexit transition period looms.
“Longer-term, more sustainable solutions will be needed, for example in the area of food industry investment in market and product diversification."
The Minister took the opportunity to reiterate Ireland's long-standing concerns in relation to the EU-Mercosur association agreement and called for the Commission's assessment of the cumulative effects of the agreement to be updated.
Minister McConalogue said economic and environmental sustainability issues remain to be addressed, and that he looked forward to the completion of the Government-commissioned Economic and Sustainability Impact Assessment in this regard.