Knowing Your Supply Chains and Being Prepared are Key for Brexit


The Irish Exporters Association (IEA), in association with Rhenus Logistics Ireland, Ulster Bank and Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail recently held the third large seminar of 8 regional events in the IEA's 2018 Supply Chain Series, “Securing the Interests of Irish Exporters in the Munster Region”. Here are some of the insights from the event:

Make sure to check the Business Achievers Events calendar for more upcoming business events this month.

Attendees at the Seminar were briefed on the opportunities and challenges for the region from a Revenue perspective and preparedness for Brexit by Carol-Ann O’Keeffe, Assistant Principal Officer, Customs Policy Branch, Revenue.

Other industry speakers included local exporters Verde LED and Green Safron, the Port of Cork, Cork Chamber of Commerce, Rhenus Logistics Ireland and Ulster Bank Chief Economist Simon Barry who provided an insight into multimodal regional issues, currency trajectories and challenges facing competitiveness locally and internationally.

A lively panel discussion led by Patrick Daly, IEA Supply Chain Series Chair & Managing Director of Alba Consulting Group took place on common supply chain challenges and solutions to doing business on and off the Island of Ireland relevant to the Munster region.

Breakout sessions in the areas of ‘Skills and Regulatory Update – A focus on Brexit’ and ‘Multimodal’ were welcomed and well attended.

Key Insights from the Supply Chain Seminar

  • While Revenue suggested that AEO (authorized economic operator) isn’t necessarily for everyone it’s important that companies do their research to assess needs and what’s best for them.
  • Trusted trader, criteria and standards along with other benefits of AEO e.g. mutual recognition are important to consider.
  • Customs simplifications and specialised procedures can benefit companies getting out of Ireland into England or transiting through.

The Irish Agri-Food sector (DAFM)

The Irish Agri-Food sector (DAFM) is a sector critically important to Irish economy employing c. 173,000 people in 2016 (8.6% of total employment) and contributing 7.6% to GDP.

With an annual output c. €26 billion, the regional spread is critical - it underpins our rural economy. 

It does have a high exposure to UK Market:

  • the total value of agri-food exports in 2017 was €13.6 billion
  • 38% (€5.2 billion) went to UK (down from 39% in 2016)
  • Total value of agri-food imports in 2017 was €8.7 billion
  • 47% (€4.1 billion) came from UK (up from 46% in 2016)
  • Approx. 15% of total merchandise goods exports go to UK
  • Just over half of beef exports go to UK
  • About 22% of dairy exports
  • 53% of cheese, 29% of butter and 12% of SMP
  • 80,000 tonnes of cheddar cheese - about 80% of all cheddar imported by the UK
  • 90% of exports from mushroom and forestry sectors
  • More than 70% of prepared consumer foods exports
  • Potential tariffs highest in these areas: Beef 60%+, dairy 50%+, other meats 30%+, PCF c. 15%+

Role of UK in Food Sourcing, Processing and Transit (DAFM)

The UK is very tightly integrated into Irish food production and distribution cycle - potentially significant impact of non-tariff barriers, e.g. sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls. 

DAFM may not be able to certify agri-food goods for export and rules of origin may be significant in the event of tariffs.

Knowing your supply chains and being prepared are key.

Upcoming IEA Supply Chain events for the rest of 2018 

Supply Chain Series Seminar with working groups in Dublin on 7th December in Dublin, Exporters Roundtables in Athlone 24th October and Wexford 8th November, Supply Chain Webinars will take place 15th October, 26th November and 10th December. For more information visit

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