DAERA Minister Edwin Poots has urged consumers to buy responsibly whilst thanking the agri-food sector for keeping food on our tables.
“The Coronavirus pandemic is one of the most significant challenges many of us have experienced in our lifetime. Not only in terms of the impact on the health of our people, but the economic and societal changes we face in these uncertain times is unprecedented.
“The importance of food, food production and food distribution has never been clearer or more important in Northern Ireland.
“I want to take a moment to say thank you to those working hard in our agri-food sector to make sure we keep food on the shelves and on our tables at home.
“The men and women working tirelessly to farm, process, distribute and feed our nation, are making sure that there is plenty of food for us all.
“And there is – if we all play our part in buying responsibly. I know this is a time of worry for many, but our supply chains, logistics and delivery systems are currently working well, around the clock to keep food moving.
“Every single step in our agri-food supply chain is critical but our sector is well-rehearsed in continuing to feed us in times of pressure and crisis – despite previous outbreaks like swine flu, bird flu, BSE and foot and mouth. Our global reputation for producing high-quality and home-grown food is evident.
“My Department will move heaven and earth to assist the agri-food industry in keeping the supply lines operational.
“Should my Department need to prioritise – the focus and spotlight will firmly be on doing everything we can to allow produce to move off-farm and through the supply chain. I won’t be found wanting in my steadfast support for those in the sector – many of whom are facing the same health and economic worries that we all are.
“In these uncertain times one thing is certain, we can rely on our food sector to do all it can to sustain us and see us through this time of difficulty. Thank you all.”