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‘Grown here, not flown here’ – Holmes

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Cllr Richard Holmes and the UUP gave support to a motion raising concerns about the crisis in the beef industry and the need to buy local in Council this evening.

In his comments, he reiterated the importance of the SLOW food movement which focused on local food.

He went on to say: “Vegan January creates problems within the food industry with changes to seasonality demand which cannot be reflected in the growth and finishing rates of cattle, sheep or pigs.

“We will not solve the climate change challenge by flying avocados from Peru whilst refusing to eat beef from the Bann Valley and lamb from the Sperrins or Antrim Plateau.

“The sooner people get to grips with food miles, seasonality and supply chains the sooner we will make a difference to the planet.

“With around 70% of our agricultural products being exported out of NI, buying local is a small help but the development of an agri-food strategy as we exit the EU is critical.

“Brexit will provide opportunities for our agri-food sector as well as uncertainties and we must ensure we take full advantage.

“In the meantime we do continue with the difficult situation where farmers are always at the hind teat of the supply chain. So always but local when you can.”

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