Bord Bia Probes Agri-Food Sector Risks

02 Jul 2020 | 10.42 am

Bord Bia Probes Agri-Food Sector Risks

Risk Readiness Radar report

02 Jul 2020 | 10.42 am

A report from Bórd Bia ranks Covid-19 as the highest-priority risk for agri-food companies, while more than half are concerned with shrinking demand or supply chain disruption.

The state agency’s Risk Readiness Radar has analysed high level risks facing the industry in six key areas: Covid-19, Brexit, challenges to market diversification, sustainability pressures, consumer insights and innovation, and talent management. 

According to Bórd Bia, its analysis captures “the level of risk exposures facing the industry, and in turn converts insights into interventions via our supports and programmes” to help industry mitigate the risks.

Nine out of ten respondents scored the trade implications of Covid-19 as either a high or a very high priority. Export market diversification was ranked as second biggest focus area for the industry as a whole, with 71% of respondents actively seeking to expand into new markets in response to Brexit.

With regard to Covid-19, fears that it will prompt a recession are a key concern for three out of four respondents. Other Covid-related concerns such as staffing issues, significant decrease in foodservice demand, disruption to supply chains, staffing levels or maintaining production were also ranked as of high significance.

Nonetheless, manufacturers are continuing to focus on Brexit by identifying and, where possible, mitigating Brexit related risks. Over 90% said they had made progress in relation to Brexit preparedness over the past 12 months.

Bord Bia chief executive Tara McCarthy (pictured) commented: “The current scenario posed by Covid-19 and Brexit has created a greater sense of urgency for overcoming any obstacles presented by market diversification. Our whole organisation is reimagining how it can best respond and help position our clients for growth, post-Covid.

“Our focus has shifted to providing reassurance to our global customers and consumers, with renewed urgency and vigour, that Irish food and drink is high quality and safety standard, distinctive and committed to sustainable production.  Looking at the longer term future, we will provide our clients with world-class consumer insight, tailored supports and customer facing opportunities through our network of overseas offices.”

Strategic projects manager Shane Hamill added: “Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, 41% of respondents reported an increase in their sales to the UK over the past 12 months, with a further 39% reporting stable revenues. 

“Looking ahead, just over half of respondents (55%) stated that they were planning to grow sales in the UK, and the remaining manufacturers (45%) stated their plan was to maintain sales in the UK.”

The Risk Readiness Radar report will be introduced at an online briefing at 2pm today July 2 featuring a panel of industry experts. To register visit bordbia.ie.

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