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ICOS President Jerry Long welcomes the appointment of Commissioner Hogan to the role of Commissioner for Trade within the incoming Commission leadership. 

“Irish co-operatives are now exporting up to 90% of their products and accessing diversified international markets is central to their ability to create value for their members.

“Commissioner Hogan has already demonstrated himself to be a deft trade negotiator and facilitator- he has led many successful trade missions which have been beneficial for our participating cooperative businesses in developing international consumer relationships. 

“Now, more than ever before this role is a vitally important one for the Irish agri-food sector, as the task of accessing new markets becomes more important, thanks to the pressures of Brexit and new challenges are arising from key export markets, thinking  particularly about the US. 

We hope that the consistent support Commissioner Hogan has provided to the agri-food sector over will continue in this new role and highlight the following key priorities for the next five years: 

  • Securing stability and enhancing access to existing key markets for the EU agri-food sector, in particular the US as well as potentially the UK in future. 
  • Reviewing our existing trading arrangements to optimise their impact and fulfil their original objectives. For example, the benefits of the EU- Canada Free Trade Agreement have so far been limited due to the existence of numerous barriers for EU agri -food exporters. 
  • Opening up new markets in Asia and the Middle East, which are currently difficult for the agri-food sector to access largely due to significant regulatory barriers.

“We also look forward to working with the new Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, to conclude the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy which is at a critical juncture and which must be fit for purpose to help the sector meet the multitude of challenges it faces, from generation renewal to climate change.”