NIFDA calls for support as members face crippling energy costs
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Northern Ireland food industry leaders have called on incoming prime minister Liz Truss to focus on food to establish how the industry can be supported as it feeds the nation through what could be a difficult winter for households across the UK.
With rising energy costs impacting businesses, the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association has highlighted that, while firms have tried to absorb as much inflation as possible, consumers could see higher prices for food and reduced ranges.
Michael Bell, executive director, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA), said: “The war in Ukraine has had a ripple effect on the food system globally, as costs for fuel, feed and fertiliser continue to rise. NIFDA members have been striving to keep a lid on prices, trying to absorb as much of this inflation as possible, but, with costs continuing to rise across the food supply chain, there is a real possibility of price increases and reduced availability of certain ranges.
“Energy costs are severely impacting our NIFDA members now and immediate assistance is needed to help food manufacturers through the winter. It is vital that the government has plans in place to ensure disruption is minimised for food manufacturers, and to support companies with spiralling energy costs. If action is not taken urgently, there will be serious concerns about the sustainability and viability of businesses here.
“Given the fact that the majority of food produced in Northern Ireland is consumed in Great Britain, this is something which requires national attention. It is vital that our industry remains equipped to keep feeding the nation. The government needs a strong focus on food to see how the industry can be supported and keep prices under control ahead of a difficult winter.”