Brexit, the UK-Ireland trading relationship and the impact of trade agreements outside of the EU on Irish agriculture, were among the topics discussed between IFA president Tim Cullinan and the British ambassador to Ireland Paul Johnston on Tuesday.
They met on the drystock farm of Ronan Delany in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath.
The sustainability of the agricultural sector in the UK, Ireland and globally was also mentioned.
“Despite Brexit, the UK remains Ireland’s most important trading partner. Tariff-free trade between the UK and EU must continue,” Cullinan said.
“Every effort must be made to safeguard trade in agri-food goods, which plays a crucial role in the prosperity of rural communities. Both Irish and British farmers are committed to upholding the world-class standards that underpin food production.”
The potential of the sector’s contribution to climate cooling was also discussed. The ambassador visited Teagasc Grange in the afternoon where he viewed the latest research into sustainable grass-based animal production systems, and saw the environmental measures being incorporated into the beef production systems at Grange.
“I am delighted to be paying this visit today,” ambassador Johnston said.
“The UK hugely values its relationship with the Irish agricultural sector. Trade and co-operation are important for a whole range of reasons, including high-quality food supplies in both directions, and also working together to promote sustainable low-carbon agri-food sectors in both our countries.
“Promoting high standards and greater sustainability go hand in hand,” he added.