Episode 94: A Current Affair – Save Leitrim & Merenda’s Brexit

This week Breifne is joined by John Brennan from the Save Leitrim campaign to discuss the aims and objectives of the group and their hopes to improve the existing pattern of harvesting large Sitka Spruce plantations across Leitrim.

The Save Leitrim campaign was set up in 2018 to fight for the survival and future of Co. Leitrim, which is being decimated by the relentless subsidised Sitka Spruce afforestation programme.

John explains how 50% of County Leitrim’s agricultural land is planted in non native, invasive species. That’s 14,000 Hectares (34,595 acres) of Leitrim land and it is increasing everyday. That’s 34.5 million Sitka Spruce trees!

It is the law that once land is planted, it can never be taken out of forestry. Save Leitrim are most definitely not against trees! They are simply asking for the right trees, in the right places being managed in the right way so that everyone benefits: the environment, the wildlife, the communities, the farmers, the economy, the county and the future.

John explains how it’s all about the money rather than being about what’s right and best for the future of the county.

We’re also joined by Ronan Haslette, Managing Director of Merenda in Manorhamilton to recap on the event held in his factory this week to replicate the effect of a no deal Brexit on his company.

Imposing the conditions, tariffs and timings of a no deal Brexit on his processes, timelines and ultimately his bottom line. His real life example of the effect this geopolitical grenade will have not just on his company but all his suppliers and customers showcases the pitfalls that lie ahead for some companies.

While the changes can be mitigated against with proper planning and strategy, companies must be mindful of this ahead of any major changes in the coming weeks and months.


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