Dairygold getting ready for 16c/litre tariff
Brexit is the gravest threat Irish agri-business has ever faced, warns Dairygold chief executive Jim Woulfe. Dairy, beef and rural industry will face a crisis if there is a hard Brexit and it will have “gigantic repercussions” for Ireland. Dairygold is the largest farmer-owned diary processor in the country.
“We need collectively to address Brexit challenges for Ireland’s cheese exports of which 60% is sold into the UK,” he told the media at the presentation of results for 2016. “We currently have a very sensible arrangement with the EU 28. If we end up with a hard Brexit and WTO tariffs, that would have a penalty of 16c a litre. We will not get a recovery in the marketplace to combat that.” It would make exports to the UK unprofitable, he said.
The problem for Dairygold and the Irish dairy sector is that cheddar cheese is really only sold in the UK and Ireland, and so the possibility of market diversification is limited, he told the Irish Times.
Mr Woulfe also warned that while cities might gain from Brexit, the cost would be paid by rural areas. “The potential gains on finances and IT will do nothing to offset what will happen to rural Ireland in every zone. What can financial services do for the people at the foot of the Galtee Mountains?”