Northern Ireland Agri-business Conference

Thursday 15th February 2018 • Craigavon Civic Centre, Co. Armagh


Supported by

Looking beyond 2022

Irrespective of the final outcome to the Brexit negotiations, farming and food in Northern Ireland is primed for further growth. The world’s population is set to increase by 50 per cent between now and the middle of this century. Given that approximately 85 per cent of the food produced locally is destined for export, these international developments will have a major impact on the future prospects of the local economy as whole.

In tandem with this, the inexorable rise of the middle classes in countries like China will ensure that the global demand for high quality animal protein-based foods will increase exponentially. Moreover, new trade deals linking Northern Ireland with the likes of the Philippines and China, specifically where pork is concerned, genuinely raise the bar regarding the local food industry’s export-focussed expectations for the period ahead.

Yes, Brexit will be a major issue for agri-food in Northern Ireland to address. However, the experience of the past year is pointing to the probable upside of a post-Brexit world for our farming and food sectors, more so than the challenges that it might pose. The weakening of Sterling relative to the Euro, in the wake of the EU referendum, has led to a genuine boom in farmgate prices where dairy, beef, pork and lamb are concerned.

There are many reasons for farmers and food processors throughout Northern Ireland to be optimistic regarding their future prospects.

One of the big imponderables, moving forward, will be the shape of the farm support policies put in place by the UK, once Brexit becomes a reality. However, the coming months will provide London with an opportunity to put some flesh on this all-important issue for farming in Northern Ireland.

All of these themes will be addressed by leading industry figures at agendaNi’s 7th Agri-business conference. So, if farming and food are important to your business, why not make the conference a must-attend occasion?

Key discussion topics

Brexit: What will it mean for the agriculture and food sector?
✔ Extending the recovery and an indepth look at individual sectors
✔ Future economic and political prospects
✔ The Food Heartland
✔ Challenges facing the dairy industry
✔ Looking to the future of farming

Food Heartland Forum

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has identified the agri-food sector as one of its priority growth sectors and has established The Food Heartland Forum – a network of people from all parts of the sector who work together to drive the sector forward. The Forum is developing the sector by highlighting the importance of food and drink competitions and awards, as well as encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship within the agri-food industry throughout the borough.

Confirmed Speakers

Wesley Aston, Chief Executive, Ulster Farmers’ Union
Wesley Aston, Chief Executive, Ulster Farmers’ Union
Conall Donnelly, Director, Northern Ireland Meat Exporters’ Association
Ken Fletcher, Deputy Editor, The Scottish Farmer
Richard Halleron, Agricultural Journalist
Michael Haverty, Senior Agricultural Economist, The Andersons Centre UK
Joe Healy, President, Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA)
Robin Irvine, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association
Michael Haverty, Senior Agricultural Economist, The Andersons Centre UK
Joe Healy, President, Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA)
Robin Irvine, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association
William Irwin MLA, DUP
Myles Patton, Senior Agricultural Economist, Agri-food and Biosciences Institute
Declan McAleer MLA, Sinn Féin
TBC, SDLP
Myles Patton, Senior Agricultural Economist, Agri-food and Biosciences Institute
James Speers, President, Young Farmers’ Club
Nick Whelan, Group Chief Executive, Dale Farm
Roger Wilson, Chief Executive, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
Michele Shirlow, CEO, Food NI
Robin Swann MLA, UUP
Nick Whelan, Group Chief Executive, Dale Farm
Roger Wilson, Chief Executive, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities

There are a number of available sponsorship and exhibition opportunities at this conference. Sponsorship of this event is an excellent way for organisations to raise their profile with a key audience of senior decision-makers from across the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland. The event also offers a limited number of high quality exhibition opportunities which will be of interest to companies and organisations with products or services they wish to promote to this key audience. For further information on how your organisation can benefit, contact Claire Speers on +44 (0) 28 9261 9933 or email claire.speers@agendani.com

Venue

Craigavon Civic & Conference Centre
Lakeview Road, Craigavon, BT64 1AL