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.
Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association office bearers Alan Johnston, Vice President; Doris Leeman, Secretary; Owen Brennan, President and Robin Irvine, Chief Executive at their Annual Dinner in Titanic Belfast. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
NIGTA, as the leading voice for the agricultural supply industry, works to provide support and advice for member companies by effective lobbying, supplying information, encouraging and facilitating quality assurance schemes, liasing with other related organisations for the benefit of the food industry and the environment.
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.
MAIN ISSUESFinancing the Food Chain - The low level of farm incomes - the major changes in the banking sector and the high cost of global feed materials have all contributed to an alarming increase in the debt carried by farm supply businesses. We have brought our concerns to the assembly Agriculture Committee, the local MEP's and jointly with the UFU have had a series of meetings with the major banks.
Feed Assurance - The global nature of the food chain and the risks from contamination and fraud have been highlighted in recent weeks. Feed Assurance is a key element in the delivery of safe and wholesome food to the consumer and with the Institute of Global Food Security at Queens University we are developing a strategic approach to safeguard our industry.
Regulation - Compliance with the increasing burden of legislation at both a local and EU level is a major challenge and cost to our businesses. The recent declaration by Alex Atwood that he intends to introduce legislation on the reduction of Greenhouse Gasses is disappointing given the responsible and proactive response of the industry on these issues.
Developing skills - A register of feed advisors is being established to recognise competence in the effective use of feed and environmental management on farm. The program will involve training and continual professional development to ensure that professional standards are maintained.
In the event of a feed related incident or scare, NIGTA has a contingency team in place.
should he notified to: