The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) has said that the incoming restrictions on rebated (red) diesel will essentially amount to a "tax on food".

The restrictions will lead to significantly increased costs for chilled and frozen transport, with no additional environmental benefit, it said.

Michael Bell, executive director, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) said:

“This is not about the government making the food supply chain more sustainable. There is no difference in terms of environmental impact between red or white diesel, and in the absence of commercially viable alternatives for refrigeration this move amounts to a tax on food."

The change in entitlements for red diesel by the UK government is a measure to push for the development of cleaner and greener alternatives.

“The food supply chain is not in a normal position at present and the whole supply chain is struggling to keep a lid on prices. Further taxing food distribution in this way at this time could have serious consequences not just for businesses here, but for consumers too," Bell continued.

"The war in Ukraine has caused a serious ripple effect on the global food system, causing supply chain disruption and price increases. Fuel prices are hurting consumers too, particularly in Northern Ireland where we have some of the most vulnerable people in the United Kingdom.

"Pressing ahead with a tax on food when families across the UK are experiencing a cost of living crisis will have devastating consequences.

“I raised this issue with Northern Ireland Office minister Conor Burns last week, and NIFDA will continue to press the government to see sense on this issue.”

Changes to red diesel entitlements

Agriland reported yesterday (Monday, April 4) that two speaker zones have been added to LAMMA 2022, where visitors will be able to drop in for updates on the latest industry developments and issues, as well as avail of the chance to put their questions to industry experts.

To help bring you up to speed with the changes and answer all your questions, speakers from Her Majesty's Revenue and Custom’s (HRMC's) fuel duty policy team and the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) will be leading a session at 1:00p.m on both days of LAMMA in one of two new speaker zones.

Other topics being discussed at the show include connectivity; farm security; second-hand machinery and getting the most of kit; new product developments; legislative updates; farmer health (mental and physical); and careers in the ag machinery sector.