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Time to promote our 'Best' farming produce

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Former Ulster Rugby star Simon Best and his brother Rory, former captain of the Ireland rugby team

Former Ulster Rugby star Simon Best and his brother Rory, former captain of the Ireland rugby team

Former Ulster Rugby star Simon Best and his brother Rory, former captain of the Ireland rugby team

Farmers must now start to promote their produce as the industry faces uncertainty following Brexit, Co Armagh producer and former rugby star Simon Best has said.

Simon runs the fourth-generation family farm in Poyntzpass with dad John and brother Rory, ex-captain of the Ireland rugby team.

The arable farm is taking part in the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend at the end of July - though this year, due to Covid-19, the event is taking place online.

Simon said that farmers had been disappointed by a failure by MPs to back an amendment to the Agriculture Bill which would have protected producers from lower-standard food imports after Brexit.

But he said Northern Ireland farmers must continue to do what they can to promote their high-standard products. "We have to keep working on that one and ensure that the government respects the standards we adhere to, which are what customers expect," he said. "We need to make sure the market and value we attain for those foods is where it needs to be to allow us to farm in a sustainable way."

Simon, a father-of-three, also told how the Best siblings are back in close proximity following lockdown, with brother Mark and sister Rebecca back home from London. And Simon and his wife Katy, marketing director at Belfast City Airport, have been homeschooling their three kids Jack, Sam and Lucy since lockdown.

Belfast Telegraph