DAERA Minister hosts COVID-19 summit with the agri-food industry

Date published: 16 March 2020

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots has hosted a summit with representatives from the agri-food industry to discuss contingency planning and the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Speaking after the meeting, which included retailers, processors and producers, Minister Poots said: “I welcome the preparations and the measured approach the agri-food industry has taken so far to deal with the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prudent contingency planning for the sector is vital - their focus is to keep food, feed and produce moving as much as possible, our focus must be to support them in doing so as much as we can.

“I encourage the agri-food and the environment sectors to take the time now to bolster their contingency plans and look at how they may maintain their operations. Within DAERA, we are also preparing as best we can, including putting measures in place to ensure essential business can continue in the coming weeks and months – being mindful that non-essential business is likely to be impacted.

“I have also made clear to the industry that they, and indeed all of us, must continue to be led by the expert scientific and medical advice from the Department of Health and the Public Health Agency. We will remain flexible and responsive in our approach as a result of that advice, and will communicate with industry regularly as we move through the various stages of the pandemic.”

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