UCD and WIT Students Debate Impact of Brexit on the Irish Agri-Food Industry in 2nd Annual Great Agri-Food Debate

on 13 February, 2017

The 2nd annual Great Agri-Food Debate will take place at 2.30pm on Wednesday 22nd of February in the Garret Fitzgerald Debating Chamber in University College Dublin (UCD).  Food and agriculture students from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) will join students from UCD to debate the motion: “Brexit will be good for the Irish Agri-Food Industry”.  

This is the second year that UCD will play host to the Great Agri-Food Debate, a joint initiative of Dawn Meats & McDonald’s Ireland and it follows a successful inaugural event last year. 

While the Irish food and drinks industry waits to see what will unfold as Britain exits the European Union, companies are developing plans to reconfigure their businesses and minimize the downside risks.  The ideas shared by the students will add new perspectives to an already dynamic discussion.   

Justin McCarthy, Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, will Chair the debate and the judging panel will comprise Niall Browne, CEO, Dawn Meats; Adrian Crean, Managing Director, McDonald’s Ireland and Tara McCarthy, CEO Bord Bia.  Dawn Meats and McDonald’s Ireland are co-sponsoring the event.

Commenting Niall Browne, CEO said; “We held this debate for the first time last year, and I think we were all struck by the vigour of the debate and the knowledge of the participants. We have long known that our 3rd level institutions are a rich source of talent and innovative thinking and with Britain’s exit from the EU on the horizon, it’s a key issue on which students should have an informed opinion.”

Commenting Adrian Crean, MD McDonald’s Ireland said; “It’s great to be heading back to UCD again this year to encourage debate of one of the really key issues of the day. McDonald’s in Ireland is going from strength to strength as a business and like many other companies Brexit is a challenge on the horizon. It’s important that we listen to the views of the next generation of business leaders and all stakeholders as we consider the possible impact on the business environment.”  

Following on from the success of last year’s debate, there is expected to be great interest.  All are welcome to attend.