More than half (51%) of professionals working with the agri-food industry believe that Brexit could offer a positive opportunity for Ireland. This is according to a survey carried out among members of the Agricultural Science Association (ASA).
This figure marks a significant increase in positive sentiment, up 23 percentage points from 28% in 2016. The findings were released in advance of the annual Agricultural Science Association (ASA) conference which takes place in the Killashee House Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare.
The ASA survey was completed by members of the professional body in July 2017. It found that members believe Brexit will reduce Ireland's dependence on the UK and encourage new market opportunities (37%).
Furthermore, members found it encouraging that Brexit will mean that Ireland is the only English speaking country in the EU which they believe presents the country with an advantage (16%).
Today’s conference, which marks 75 years of the ASA, will welcome over 400 delegates who will hear from a host of leading Irish and international agri-food leaders delivering insights on how the industry can remain competitive in an era of immense global change.
Speaking in advance of his opening address at this morning’s conference, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan said, "The annual ASA Conference is a welcome opportunity for agri-food operators to take stock of their current and future requirements to compete in an ever-changing global environment. Europe is the world's leading agri-food trading bloc thanks to our enduring commitment to quality, standards and innovation."
He added, "I firmly believe we can maintain this competitive advantage if we plan for the future now - taking into account evolving global consumer trends, improving our uptake of innovation and technology in the sector, delivering more sustainable production systems while building stronger trade relationships with our global partners."