Committee Focuses on Agri-Food Industry with Visit to Local Farm and Processing Plant
Date: Friday, 22 March 2013
Reference: ETI 07/12/13
The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment visited a beef farm in Collone, County Armagh, and Dunbia food processing plant in Dungannon, County Tyrone earlier this week, to emphasise the importance of the agri-food industry.
Chairperson of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Patsy McGlone MLA said: "The agri-food industry is one of the largest contributors to the local economy and encompasses such a diverse range of sectors; from the local farm where our meat is sourced, to the supermarkets that sell the food we buy every day.
"Of course, the quality of food, particularly in the meat industry, has been in the spotlight recently. Throughout Europe, people are questioning their food and trust has been shaken. But the Committee is absolutely confident that local meat – and beef, in particular – is of the highest standards and can pass the most rigorous of quality-assurance tests. Traceability is crucial; we need to know who is producing our meat and how they are producing it. The Committee was reassured by the safeguards being applied at both the beef farm and the processing plant; the consumer, whether local or international, can have confidence in the quality of the meat that is sourced from here."
Mr McGlone concluded: "Today's visit gave the Committee an excellent opportunity to find out about the journey from farm to plate and to see first-hand our modern and progressive agri-food industry. It also absolutely reaffirmed the Committee's pride and confidence in the local agri-food industry."
Notes to Editors:
Mr. Patsy McGlone (Chairperson)
Mr. Phil Flanagan (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr. Stephen Agnew
Mr. Gordon Dunne
Mr. Paul Frew
Mr. Alban Maginness
Ms. Maeve McLaughlin
Mr. Stephen Moutray
Mr. Robin Newton
Mrs. Sandra Overend
Ms. Sue Ramsey