‘Agri-food industry vital to economic growth’ – Ritchie

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Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has reiterated the need to promote Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry to stimulate economic growth after questioning the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) in the House of Commons recently. ritchieRitchie said, “I am extremely excited and optimistic about the future of Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry. “We have a host of high quality food and drink producers and suppliers from an agricultural background who must be supported at government level if they are to thrive. “I asked the Secretary of State for EFRA what discussions she had had with her counterparts in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales about promoting local food across these islands. “I was somewhat disappointed that such a meeting has not yet taken place between the Secretary of State and the Northern Ireland Agricultural Minister. This relationship must be fostered if Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry is to reach its potential. Ritchie added, “I will continue to pursue the Secretary of State on this matter to ensure that Northern Ireland’s small and medium agri-food businesses are given the opportunities to build and strengthen relationships with large suppliers.”
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