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Minister drives home ‘think local, buy local and support local’ message during Ballylisk Dairies visit

He said the Portadown business had 'risen to the challenge and kept food on our tables'

Dean Wright Ballylisk
Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots pictured with owner of Ballylisk Dairies Dean Wright, and inset, with Ballylisk employee Sam Boyd.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has paid a visit to Ballylisk Dairies in Portadown and used the occasion to urge people to continue to support local food producers who have adapted their businesses to “provide for us all”.

Minister Poots met with owner Dean Wright on Friday and discussed how the company has continued to trade in these challenging times, whilst also applying social distancing measures.

He said: “From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic our agri-food sector faced many challenges in continuing to feed us all. Businesses had to quickly adapt to new ways of working to meet the high demand.

“Today at Ballylisk Cheese I have had the opportunity to see how Dean has managed to continue to trade and produce high quality cheese from his dairy herd, by employing new methods to ensure a continuation of cash flow for the business and getting their product to customers whilst adhering to social distancing measures.

“Ballylisk represents the many smaller, local food producers across Northern Ireland who have risen to the challenge and kept food on our tables.

“It is therefore vital that after this crisis is over, we continue to support our local agri-food business.

“They were there and continue to be there for us during the height of the pandemic and it is only right that we, as consumers, are there for them as we begin to relax some measures in the move to a new normal. Think local, buy local and support local.”

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