Food for Thought

A Summary of Food for Thought - November 2019

Sasha Kerins Sasha Kerins

New and old readers of our Food for Thought publication will not need reminding that this year has been exceptionally difficult for Irish farmers, across every branch of the sector. What will also be evident to readers is that the future looks every bit as challenging and uncertain as the year progresses.

Issues and conversations arising from commodity prices, rising input costs, the beef plan movement, low incomes, the imminent risk of a damaging Brexit have been constant refrain.

There is no question that Ireland’s farming and rural communities are under immense pressure. In a fast-moving, global economy, no sector can afford not to adapt to the rapidly changing, volatile business environment. However, there is immense opportunity and optimism accompanying this changed landscape. As a firm, we have seen this among our clients, who have embraced innovation and change.

In this issue of Food for Thought, I sat down with the Dutch Ambassador to Ireland, Adriaan Palm to discuss innovation in agriculture in the Netherlands. Representing one of the world’s largest agricultural producers, exporting 65 billion Euros worth of vegetables, fruit, flowers, meat and dairy products each year, Adriaan and his team shared with us their insights as to where the Dutch agri-food economy currently sits, how we can learn from each other going forward and how we can do more, together.

On the ongoing topic of sustainability, Grant Thornton’s Neil Brady and Padraig Ryan examined the way food businesses can incorporate sustainability into their products, from inception through the new product development process, in order to remain relevant to changing consumer demands.

In Policy and Legislation, Conor Phelan examined the impacts of Budget 2020 and the 2019 Finance Act 2019 on the agricultural sector. Our expert tax team bring you through the planned extension of farm restructuring relief, stamp duty on agricultural land, new funding announcements and Brexit preparations.

We hope you enjoy,

Sasha Kerins

Head of Agri-Food and Tax Partner

Grant Thornton Ireland