UFU meet with DAERA to discuss impact of war in Ukraine

Friday, 18 March, 2022

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) met with the Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA yesterday (17 March), to discuss the impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine and how it is affecting food supply chains in Northern Ireland (NI).

UFU president Victor Chestnutt said, “Last week, the UFU called for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to put contingency plans in place and establish a NI agriculture task force to address the impact that Russia’s invasion in Ukraine is having on global supplies. We’re pleased at how quickly Minster Poots met with us following this. 

“We had discussions with DAERA on the importance of the middleman taking responsibility and that not all of the input price increases need to borne by the primary producer. It’s very clear that we are in a crisis now in terms of energy and fuels, and the big issue going forward will be cash flows on farm.

“The war in Ukraine has also stressed the importance and fragility of food security, both at home and abroad. We farmers stand ready to do all we can to ensure the public continues to have access to high-quality, affordable, climate-friendly food when they need it.

“There are some clear short and long-term actions that government can take to maintain confidence and stability across the UK’s food producing businesses. We have shared these with government and want to stress that we’re ready to take these forward together, to navigate the extreme volatility we see today, and which is expected to grow in the coming months. We will continue to work with DAERA regularly to address the situation.”