Intertrade Ireland held a Brexit conference on Monday March 4th in The Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan. The event specifically targeting businesses that engage in cross-border trade. Ifac Food & AgriBusiness Executive, Patrick Black, was in attendance.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD opened the conference urging all business to take Brexit related action now and it’s not the time to “sit on your hands”. Minister Humphreys also mentioned that businesses have highlighted how accessible the Intertrade Ireland Brexit Voucher Scheme has been for them.
Intertrade Ireland also had a range of speakers and panellists for what was an informative, compact two-hour session. Deirdre Maguire and Kerri McCrory from the Brexit Advisory service both spoke on the range of services Intertrade Ireland have for clients.
The following are just some of the supports available:
Dedicated Brexit Team
Two of the key new services Intertrade Ireland have on offer is the Brexit and Beyond online learning platform and the new Brexit: Implementation Voucher.
Brexit and Beyond
Kerri McCrory brought us through this innovative online learning platform which has been designed by Intertrade Ireland to tackle specific issues that companies may have to deal with in a Brexit scenario. The modules are based on queries that the government body have received from companies since they have begun Brexit planning.
The Customs element of the programme is now live with People, Supply Chain and Logistics to follow as they have been identified as pain points for cross border traders.
Follow the below link to start your free e-learning course that can be taken across both desktop and mobile.
Brexit: Implementation Voucher
This follows on from the original Start to Plan Voucher which we have mentioned in previous publications. Offered by the cross-border business development body the Brexit: Implementation Voucher provides a fund of up to €5,625 of which the client company must cover 50% of the cost. The idea of the fund is to help businesses implement their Brexit plan.
Similar to the Start to Plan voucher ifac are registered with Intertrade Ireland as accredited service providers for this programme to give businesses guidance and advice.
Western Brand Poultry – Case Study
Michael Liddle, General Manager with Western Brand Poultry gave us an overview of the practical steps they have taken to counteract the potential implications of Brexit. Western Brand are a major agri-food business with operations in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo and Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh so they are prime examples of a food business that is very much open to the threat of Brexit with product constantly moving across the border, both finished and for further processing.
Some of the key actions Western Brand have taken to date:
Assessed the market mix between ROI, NI and UK and adjusted their customer base accordingly
Reviewed potential structural issues in terms of company set up, ensuring suitable entities in both ROI and NI
Spoke to both customers and suppliers, assessing how relationships will shape up post Brexit
Availed of services from state agencies such as Bord Bia and Intertrade Ireland
Registered for EORI number
It was interesting to hear the steps a well established agri-food business has taken thus far in their Brexit journey, steps that other agri-food businesses should try and replicate going forward.