Welcome to the hub of Northern Ireland's agricultural supply trade industry, the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association - the first link in the food chain.

The Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association was founded in 1966 and represents traders, manufacturers, processors, distributors, brokers and service providers who are involved in the Northern Ireland agricultural supply trade.

Pictured at the launch of the Food Fortress pilot scheme in Queens University
Launching the Food Fortress pilot scheme in Queens University

The Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association is affiliated to, and is the regional arm of Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) in Northern Ireland. This provides additional lobbying, negotiating and information resources to NIGTA, including direct access to relevant government departments, trade associations and major retailers throughout Europe. AIC also provides two free help lines to members on legal matters and quality assurance schemes.

Current Issues

Feed Assurance  - The Food Fortress scheme developed with the Queen’s University Institute for Global Food Security gives NIGTA a world leading position in the field of feed assurance. This program has just completed a 6 month pilot run and has proven highly successful and cost effective. A summary of results is available for all participants to view on this website.

EU Regulation - NIGTA is lobbying effectively on a number of regulatory issues at both local and European level. Of particular concern are the proposals on Official Controls which would involve our industry paying for all the costs of regulatory controls. With the support of our local MEP’s we have made our opposition known and are working to influence the outcome of this regulation as it passes through the committee process in Brussels. 

Environment - Our association has been an active contributor to the work of the Greenhouse Gas Action Group. This project has produced a plan for sustainable farm production based on efficient use of inputs providing a model for responsible growth and more profitable farming.  

A review of the Nitrates Directive is being carried out by DARD and NIEA working with the EU commission. This will define the new regulations to apply for the period 2015 to 2018.     Inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus have been much reduced under the current directive and there are now concerns that crop and animal production may be limited by a lack of these nutrients. DARD supported by AFBI is making a case for some relaxation in the regulations relating to phosphate to ensure that food can be produced efficiently.

 The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) Regulations are to be extended to smaller feed milling businesses and NIGTA has been working with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to help guide this process and minimise the impact on businesses.

Feed Advisors Register - Well over 100 fieldstaff from the Northern Ireland supply trade have joined the AIC Feed Advisers register and have committed to a program of training and continuous professional development. They will be equipped to deliver the key messages relating to efficient use of inputs and to help their customers develop more profitable and sustainable farm businesses.

Farm Assured Cereals - NIGTA is a partner with the Ulster Farmers Union in ownership of the quality assured cereals scheme. This has been improved and upgraded for the 2014 harvest and will continue to progress towards full accreditation.

Going for Growth - The Agri-food Strategy Groups’ “Going for Growth” report has set an ambitious target for development in terms of production, employment and export sales. Our association have played an active part in this project and is committed to work towards the vision laid out in “Going for Growth”.