'It took a pandemic to expose just how dependent we are on flour from the UK and elsewhere'
ICSA Tillage chair Gavin Carberry has said the current flour shortage is a direct result of years of under investment in the tillage industry and has laid bare our over reliance on the UK for supplies.
"It took a pandemic to expose just how dependent we are on flour from the UK and elsewhere and with the UK now experiencing shortages of their own, it has left us a very precarious position," he said.
"While the shortage is having a direct impact on the consumer for the purposes of home baking, things could get far worse if the lockdown continues and our main bakeries are unable to source adequate supplies of flour to keep bread plentiful on our supermarket shelves."
"Ireland produces some of the best wheat in the world with our moist damp climate providing ideal growing conditions. With an abundance of over 15,000 hectares of spring milling wheat growing here this season, it’s time for all the cogs in the wheel of the tillage industry to come together to ensure this native product can be manufactured here at home and ensure a supply of flour for the domestic market."
Concluding Mr Carberry said, "Given the difficulties we currently face and with the potential impact Brexit will bring to the sector, the Department of Agriculture must re-establish the Tillage Forum. Now is the time for robust planning and for the true potential of the sector to be harnessed."