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Written Question
Food Supply: Northern Ireland
Monday 1st August 2022

Asked by: Lord Bishop of Manchester (Bishops - Bishops)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure an (1) adequate, and (2) diverse, supply of food for those of (a) Orthodox Jewish faith, and (b) other faiths, in Northern Ireland.

Answered by Lord Benyon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We recognise the importance of ensuring that everyone in Northern Ireland is able to observe their chosen faith fully, and without hindrance. This includes those of Orthodox Jewish faith, who rely on free access to kosher meats and groceries.

We have previously been made aware that a supplier decided to stop supplying kosher foods to Northern Ireland. They explained that this was owing to difficulty for them complying with the Official Controls Regulation which applies in Northern Ireland by virtue of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

We worked closely with those concerned to identify alternative options, and an alternative GB supplier of kosher foods was identified.

We are not aware of any similar issues facing those of other faiths in Northern Ireland, but we do know that the Protocol is still causing real problems. It is our preference to resolve these problems through talks with the EU, but in the meantime the Government’s Northern Ireland Protocol Bill will fix the practical problems that the Protocol has created.