UFU comment on NI agri-food marketing body announcement

Friday, 6 March, 2015

Following DETI Minister Arlene Foster’s announcement that the Agri-Food Strategy Board is in the process of developing a proposal for a new industry-led agri-food marketing body, UFU President Ian Marshall said: “Effective marketing of our world class agri-food industry on a local, national and international scale is vitally important to seeing the sustainable growth plans laid out in ‘Going for Growth’ realised. The Union has always believed strongly and argued that Northern Ireland needs well funded, co-ordinated and export focused marketing to help assist in the growth and development of the industry. Many sectors already undertake their own marketing through commercial companies and specialised, well-established marketing structures all which will posses significant expertise in promoting their own areas. The creation of a new industry-led body would enable all of these to work together for the benefit of the NI agri-food industry as a whole, ultimately strengthening their own sectoral marketing positions as well. However, it is important that farmers are not forgotten and any marketing plans should not be to the detriment or at the expense of the primary production part of the food chain.

“In addition to collaborative and integrated marketing, the Union is strongly supportive of building a strong and recognisable brand that establishes Northern Ireland as a premier source region for quality food and food ingredients.”