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Coveney, Simon

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 Nbr. 1


Priority Questions - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: if he will outline any underspend from his 2011 budget allocation in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

If the House will permit, and while this portfolio is often dominated by agriculture, I wish to mention the extraordinary response to what has been an unfolding tragedy in Union Hall during the pas...More Button

The response of the fishing community, in particular the Deasy family in Union Hall, the Coast Guard, the Garda, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, RNLI, Civil Defence and the hundreds of vol...More Button

I would appreciate that, as a number of Deputies probably know some of the people concerned.More Button

I appreciate the Leas-Cheann Comhairle’s indulgence. Sometimes, it is only in tragedy that we see how fantastic Irish people can be.More Button

There was a gross underspend of €226 million in the Department’s budget allocation of €1.647 billion in 2011. The expenditure on the EU-funded single payment amounted to a further ...More Button

I will outline the main areas of underspend. Some €10 million was underspent on the administration budget. Some €18.7 million was underspent in respect of the eradication programme, ERA...More Button

Some €23.2 million was underspent in respect of the clearance of EU accounts. This funding is provided to meet the cost of potential disallowances following European Commission audits of EU-f...More Button

Notwithstanding these requirements, 22,000 REPS 4 farmers were paid in 2011, compared with 14,000 in 2010, and payments under the agri-environment options scheme are well advanced. There was an un...More Button

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.More Button

The balance of savings is attributable to a large number of other headings under the Department’s Vote. On the other hand, there was an additional spend of €13 million on the less favou...More Button

Overall, much of the Department’s Vote comprises schemes and measures that are subject to external factors such as demand from beneficiaries, market and economic factors, animal disease incid...More Button

There is no actual saving in terms of reduced payments to farmers. The issue here is the year in which the payments are made. There have been no cuts in the agri-environment options scheme, and c...More Button

My Department is very different from other Departments in that we have to put an Estimate together based on the best case scenario in terms of making all of the payments that could be possibly made...More Button

There was never a problem with funding the agri-environment options scheme last year, even for a larger scheme. The problem is that the scheme carries over year on year. Last year’s budget ...More Button

I said at the time that a scheme was promised for which the funding was not in place. One must have multi-annual funding in place for a multi-annual scheme.More Button

Schemes are operated on a multi-annual basis.More Button

Priority Questions - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: the measures he will take to ensure regionalisation does not adversely impact on farmers in the more disadvantaged areas of the west and north west; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I take it the Deputy is referring to the Commission’s proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy for the period 2014 to 2020, which include a gradual move away from payments based on histor...More Button

Moving to a flat-rate, area-based payment ignores the fact that direct payments to farmers are calculated on the basis of historical productivity going back to 2002 or 2003. The notion that we sho...More Button

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.More Button

The mechanism proposed by the Commission raises serious concerns for Ireland. It would result in very significant transfers from more productive farms to more marginal and less productive land. A...More Button

I have been relaying these concerns very strongly at every opportunity in recent months, most recently in the course of discussions with the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Developm...More Button

We already have some regionalisation in terms of how rural development funds are distributed in that we have a designated disadvantaged area which encompasses more than 100,000, or 75%, of farmers....More Button

In regard to draft proposals, I look forward to full, frank and detailed discussions on a range of options which I will potentially bring back to the Commission. As far as I am concerned, there is...More Button

Priority Questions - Tuberculosis Incidence

Was asked: the current badger population in Ireland; and if he can provide independent peer reviewed evidence that supports badger culling as a proven successful strategy in the eradication of bovine TB. More Button

There are no accurate statistics available on the current badger population in Ireland. However, based on the results of the four-area project, the best estimate available to my Department is that...More Button

There is considerable peer-reviewed research showing that the removal of badgers results in a reduction in the incidence of tuberculosis in cattle. In Ireland the first major research project took...More Button

The United Kingdom has also conducted significant research into the role of badgers in the spread of TB and the impact of the removal of badgers on the incidence of TB in cattle. The most recent r...More Button

I am satisfied that the badger culling strategy, which is an important element of my Department’s bovine TB eradication programme, has contributed to a significant reduction in the incidence ...More Button

My Department intends, in the coming years, gradually to replace badger culling with badger vaccination and, with this in mind, we have been funding research in UCD and collaborating with DEFRA on ...More Button

It is estimated that there are between 80,000 and 90,000 badgers in the country.More Button

It is probably appropriate to compare two different strategies, namely, what is happening in Ireland in terms of TB and what is happening in the UK. The UK has tried to treat badgers for TB rather...More Button

I will continue to review our TB eradication programme. However, what we are currently doing is working. It is hoped we will reach a point whereby TB will be entirely eradicated from herds in Ire...More Button

I agree with the Deputy on the boarder issue of badger baiting and the need for a new approach towards animal welfare. I will soon publish a new animal welfare Bill. I know the Deputy’s con...More Button

Priority Questions - Departmental Funding

Was asked: if he will acknowledge that the Irish salmon farming industry has made significant improvements in lice management control through large investments in well-boats, good husbandry practices, in sing...More Button

Financial supports to the aquaculture sector, as part of the Irish National Seafood Programme 2007-2013, are currently provided by BIM.More Button

In the course of the public and statutory consultation process of the strategic environmental assessment of that programme, concerns were raised by the Central and Regional Fisheries Boards, now In...More Button

The Minister at the time agreed with the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources that until such time as the sea lice issue was satisfactorily resolved, no financial assistance wo...More Button

5 o’clockMore Button

A policy document entitled, A Strategy for Improved Pest Control on Irish Salmon Farms, was developed by my Department in 2008, in consultation with the Marine Institute and BIM. The strategy incl...More Button

The implementation group’s report was published by my Department in December 2010. The report concluded that over the course of its work, the vast majority of salmon aquaculture sites mainta...More Button

I am currently reviewing the constraint on grant aiding the salmon farming sector and in that regard I propose to fully consult with the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.More Button

Priority Questions - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: the costs associated with the plans to move the Teagasc facility to Ashtown from Kinsealy, County Dublin; and if he will ensure that these moves are halted in view of the fact that the site is unsu...More Button

This is an operational matter for the Teagasc authority. Teagasc has statutory responsibility for the delivery of education, advisory and research services to the agriculture sector. It is a matt...More Button

I am aware that the Teagasc authority approved a major change programme in 2009 to reorganise and refocus the organisation to meet the significant challenges that lie ahead. This required Teagasc ...More Button

As part of this programme, the Teagasc authority concluded that the Kinsealy Research Centre is no longer strategically essential to its activities and that it should be closed with staff and activ...More Button

It is the view of the Teagasc authority that it cannot maintain four sites in the greater Dublin area in close proximity to one other and that they are not being used to capacity at present. Teaga...More Button

It is important to note that Teagasc has committed to spending approximately €4.8 million on the Ashtown site to facilitate the move from Kinsealy.More Button

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.More Button

Teagasc has developed excellent facilities in Ashtown following significant investment in recent years and relocation provides an excellent opportunity to optimise the usage of this valuable centre...More Button

I must take my briefing from Teagasc on this issue. I can understand the importance of Kinsealy, particularly from a horticultural research perspective, but my understanding is the planned move to...More Button

There is a role for me to ensure that Teagasc spends its budget properly and gets value for money. I have spoken to the director of Teagasc many times on a series of matters, including how it prio...More Button

Other Questions - Farm Inspections

Was asked: if he will outline in tabular form providing county breakdown of all the cross compliance and GAEC penalties, as well as the land eligibility penalties applied on farmers for 2009, 2010 and 2011, w...More Button

My Department, in the context of delivering the direct payments schemes, is required to carry out annual inspections covering land eligibility and cross-compliance to ensure compliance with EU regu...More Button

Eligibility checks must be carried out on 5% of applicants. These checks are carried out to verify the actual area claimed in the application form corresponds to the area farmed by the farmer and ...More Button

As for the specific question, in the time available it has not been possible to compile a full range of data as requested by the Deputy. However this is being compiled and when it is available, as...More Button

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.More Button

It is a regulatory requirement that land eligibility inspections must be finalised before any payments can issue in a given year. On the other hand, cross-compliance inspections take place through...More Button

In the time available it has not been possible to compile the full range of data requested by the Deputy. The information sought will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it is compiled.More Button

Under EU regulations, as well as the requirement to carry out annual cross-compliance inspections and apply penalties for non-compliance, member states also are required to take on board the result...More Button

In 2010, in an effort to minimise duplication of farm inspections between the two Departments, my Department agreed to carry out approximately 1,600 nitrates inspections under the GAP regulations o...More Button

First, I need to know if people are being inspected repeatedly because according to my information, only a relatively small percentage of farmers are meant to be inspected each year. If people are...More Button

On whether we are implementing the rules on cross-compliance in inspections in a more aggressive way than is the case in other European countries, the requirements in this regard are laid down by t...More Button

Other Questions - Agri-Environmental Options Scheme

Was asked: if he has finalised arrangements to the agri environmental options scheme 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This question relates to the agri-environmental options scheme, AEOS, for this year. Rather than providing the Deputy with a long dissertation on the REPS and the AEOS, I will outline the facts as...More Button

At budget time I stated I would like to introduce a new AEOS but that it would be targeted at a specific group of farmers. I have repeatedly stated those who are farming in special areas of conser...More Button

My officials have been working on them this week and draft proposals may be ready as early as next week. However, that is not to state they will be agreed at that point. Let us be clear about the...More Button

The discussion on this matter is only in the preliminary stages. This is because I have not yet approved a proposed scheme and obtained approval from the Departments of Finance and Public Expendit...More Button

Other Questions - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: his views that progress was made on the key issue for Irish farmers in the common agriculture policy post 2013 discussions with Commissioner Ciolos during his recent visit; if so, in what areas; an...More Button

When I saw this question had been tabled in the name of Deputy Michael McGrath, I thought he had become interested in agriculture. No such luck, however,More Button

Exactly. I am glad the question was tabled because we had a very useful visit from Commissioner Ciolos a number of weeks ago. Deputies Michael Moynihan and Michael Colreavy made a number of extre...More Button

Ireland also has concerns on the reference year issue. Many farmers are also concerned about this matter which is having an impact on the land rental market, in particular. It will continue to ha...More Button

I outlined to the Commissioner our concerns about greening. There should not be a separate greening payment. We should build on the cross-compliance structures already in place rather than introd...More Button

The distribution of single farm or direct payments within Ireland is the key issue for us. We discussed this matter in the context of an earlier question. We need to achieve a result in this matt...More Button

We are at one on this issue but it is important to state the big issue for us is the redistribution of direct payments. We also require clarity on rural development funds. We still do not know ho...More Button

The other issues are very important and we will try to address them. I do not want to pretend any of these issues will be easily resolved because they will not. Any solution we find must be accep...More Button

Having said all of this, it is possible to steer our way through what will be a difficult negotiation process. As long as we use the opportunities that exist, especially as Ireland approaches its ...More Button

Other Questions - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

Was asked: the way he proposes to deal with applications for single farm payments from farmers in particularly disadvantaged areas whose stocking density was on, or slightly above minimum density pertaining t...More Button

This question is slightly confusing in terms of how it is worded, but I believe I know what it is getting at and I would like to bring clarity to the changes we have made to disadvantaged areas pay...More Button

With regard to the disadvantaged areas scheme, I wanted to protect people who are farming with reasonable numbers of stock on the land. I did not want to take any money from them and in my view we...More Button

We changed the eligibility criteria for the disadvantaged areas scheme. This means people’s stocking rate needs to be reasonable and we consulted farm organisations on this. I did not pick ...More Button

One area of confusion arose which this question is getting at. We stated that farmers with their main holding outside of a disadvantaged area who either purchase or lease land in a disadvantaged a...More Button

To be clear, any farmers who must have a low stocking rate because they farm in a commonage area and therefore must abide by a commonage framework programme which requires them to have a low stocki...More Button

This is about what happened last year, as last year is the reference year for stocking rates. If one was below the threshold last year, one’s payment will be removed unless one appeals and g...More Button

If there was a genuine reason in 2011 that people had a low stocking rate, such as a death in the family, a son or daughter taking over the farm and stocking rates being reduced to wean him or her ...More Button

Other Questions - Milk Quota

Was asked: the discussions he has held under the Danish EU Council Presidency in relation to milk quotas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I suspect this question has come from Deputy Moynihan because he rightly asks it, or some version of it, during every Question Time on agriculture. It concerns the milk soft landing.More Button

I have had informal meetings with the new Danish Presidency. There is a new Danish Minister following elections some months before Denmark took the Presidency. Ireland and Denmark are very much a...More Button

This is an opportunity for me to say to dairy farmers that they should stay within quota this year. By the end of December of last year we were 0.08% under our quota and if the same pattern of the...More Button

I would love to have a Europe wide milk quota. It would mean we could increase Europe’s output of milk by 4% or 5% because that was the amount it was under quota last year but we must get re...More Button

It is important to state also that even though some countries are raising concerns about milk quotas ending in 2015 the big countries, including France and Germany, and the vast majority of other c...More Button

We have put together informally a coalition of the willing but it is not yet big enough to force change. The Council will not change this because it has an agreed milk health check, which Ireland ...More Button

Other Questions - Pigmeat Sector

Was asked: the value of the Irish pork industry in 2011; the percentage of that product that was free range or organic; his views regarding the marketing of pig meat as free range or organic that has not been...More Button

Was asked: if he plans to enforce proper regulation on free-range Irish pig farming; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 and 16 together.More Button

Ireland is more than 150% self-sufficient in pigmeat with the result that export values reached almost €400 million last year, an increase of 18% compared to 2010. The industry supports more ...More Button

The UK remains the largest single export market while the value of exports to international markets grew significantly during 2011. Pigmeat remains the most consumed meat worldwide and the substan...More Button

For the information of the House, I met a representative of a very large pig and pork company from China recently and he told me that China slaughters 650 million pigs a year. That will give Membe...More Button

The importance of the domestic market to Irish pig producers must also be acknowledged. More than half our output is consumed domestically, which is unusual for agricultural products, and consumpt...More Button

Food Harvest 2020 targets a 50% growth in the value of output over the next nine years and factors such as improvements in sow productivity and growing the size of the national herd will help to me...More Button

Organic production and labelling of organic products is controlled by European and national regulations. The EU legislation allows member states to use private inspection bodies to carry out the i...More Button

The labelling of free range pigmeat is not covered by any legislation unlike organic produce. There are a very small number of pig producers currently styling themselves as free range. As we are ...More Button

That is a fair point. With the development of the artisan food sector in Ireland, we are finding new ways of adding value to product that can target different types of premium markets. In the pas...More Button

Yes.More Button

I am not that young.More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments

Was asked: the number of farmers who will lose out under the new stocking rate criteria; the number of farmers who will lose out on a county basis on the proportionate payment between land in disadvantaged ar...More Button

The budgeted expenditure under the 2012 Scheme will be reduced from €220 million to €190 million and, in order to achieve the €30 million saving in expenditure, it is proposed to int...More Button

Faced with the task of achieving significant savings in the annual budget for the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, I chose to take the opportunity to make the Scheme more targeted, rather than simply ap...More Button

With the intention of targeting those farmers who are farming exclusively in Disadvantaged Areas, it is proposed that farmers, whose holdings consists of land situated both in Disadvantaged Areas a...More Button

I am, however, particularly mindful that any proposed changes in scheme qualifying criteria, regardless of how focused and targeted their aim, will result in anomalies, because of which I have alre...More Button

It will be appreciated, therefore, for the reasons outlined, it is not possible, at this stage, to break the Scheme changes down on a county by county basis, nor on a sectoral basis.More Button

Deputies will be aware that the Scheme, which is co-funded by the EU, is an integral part of Ireland’s Rural Development Plan, 2007/2013, and as such, any proposed change to Scheme criteria r...More Button

Was asked: if he could outline the difference between a full-time farmer and a part-time, hobby farmer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The following definitions, for farms rather than farmers, are those used by Teagasc in its annual National Farm Survey which details the composition of Irish farms in terms of numbers, size, demogr...More Button

Hobby farms (or farmers) are not defined by Teagasc but could be broadly be taken to be agricultural pursuits undertaken for recreational rather than financial purposes.More Button

Was asked: the provisions that will be made for farmers with no entitlements for new schemes in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is understand that the Deputy is referring to the proposed changes to the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, specifically those farmers who are new claimants under the 2012 DAS scheme.More Button

It is widely recognised that the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is a very important one for this country, as the total area designated as disadvantaged is almost 75% of Ireland’s total land area....More Button

The budgeted expenditure under the 2012 Scheme will be reduced from €220 million to €190 million and, in order to achieve the €30 million saving in expenditure, it is proposed to int...More Button

I am, however, particularly mindful that any proposed changes in scheme qualifying criteria, regardless of how focused and targeted their aim, will result in anomalies, because of which I have alre...More Button

I would again stress that, in proposing the changes in question, the intention is to better focus the Scheme, which is to the benefit of the majority of those farming in areas with recognised const...More Button

Deputies will be aware that the Scheme, which is co-funded by the EU, is an integral part of Ireland’s Rural Development Plan, 2007/2013, and as such, any proposed change to Scheme criteria r...More Button

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will receive any payment entitlements from the national reserve for the years 2005 to 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

No single payment entitlements were established for the person named as he did not submit applications under the Direct Payment schemes in the reference years 2000, 2001 and 2002. The person named ...More Button

Category A of the 2005, 2006 and 2008 National Reserve catered for farmers who inherited land or received land free of charge or for a nominal sum from a farmer who had retired or died by 16 May, ...More Button

The person named was not eligible for an allocation of entitlements from the 2005, 2006, and 2008 National Reserve as he inherited the land before the commencement of the reference period, i.e. bef...More Button

Category C of the 2007 National Reserve catered for farmers for whom at least 40% of their Single Payment was derived from direct payments associated with sheep production (Ewe Premium/Rural World ...More Button

The person named was not eligible for an allocation under the 2007 National Reserve as he did not already hold single payment entitlements for sheep production during the reference period.More Button

Was asked: if a penalty imposed on a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will be reconsidered in view of the minor non-compliance issues involved in this case; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

An application under the Single Payment Scheme/Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on 10 May 2011. This application was selected for a Cross Compliance inspection. More Button

During the course of the inspection breaches were recorded relating to the Tagging of Sheep and the failure to maintain a flock register for the previous 5 years. This resulted in a 5% penalty bein...More Button

As payments under the 2011 Disadvantaged Area Scheme and Single Payment Scheme had already issued, my Department initiated a process to recoup these payments and a letter issued from the Accounts D...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal relating to SFPS late submission of applications in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application under the Single Payment Scheme /Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on the 28 October 2011. As the application was received after the closing date for the...More Button

Was asked: when a 2011 disadvantaged area payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application under the Single Payment Scheme /Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on 11 May 2011. This application was selected for a ground eligibility inspection. Du...More Button

The person named was informed of this decision by formal notice on 17 January 2012 and of his right to seek a review. He was also informed of his right to appeal the outcome of any such review to ...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will be made on a REP scheme review lodged by a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named commenced REPS in June 2008 and received payment for the first two years of their contract. REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subjec...More Button

Following an on farm inspection the person named was informed in writing on 7 December 2011 of the decision to terminate his participation in the above Scheme and to seek recoupment of all moneys p...More Button

Written Answers - Electronic Tagging

Was asked: his plans to introduce a streamlined, simplified and inexpensive system for sheep tagging and movement tracking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As part of the revision to the National Sheep Identification System (NSIS) consequent, on the introduction of electronic identification of sheep in 2010, across the E.U, my Department has already i...More Button

I can tell the Deputy that as a result of these consultations it was decided to apply the so called slaughter derogation. The result of this decision is that all lambs going for slaughter before 12...More Button

My advice to farmers in relation to tagging is that where lambs are going directly to the slaughterhouse from the holding of origin, a single conventional slaughter tag will, as before, continue to...More Button

On the question of cost, there are a variety of NSIS approved tags types available from a number of approved suppliers which allows farmers to shop around for the cheapest and most appropriate tags...More Button

With regard to sheep movement, these are recorded on my Departments Sheep Movement Database which is contained within the Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) System. In order to keep movement...More Button

I should add that my Department has again held recent consultations with stakeholders regarding the current design of the NSIS and continues to liaise regarding further possible improvements to the...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: if, in regard to any potential sale of all or part of Coillte, he can assure Dáil Éireann that each of the following factors are being explicitly considered by him in advance of any d...More Button

I wish to advise the House that no decision has been taken by the Government in relation to the potential sale of Coillte. As I have advised the House on a number of occasions, I consider that it ...More Button

To assist in its examination of options for the possible disposal of State assets, the Government requested the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, in consultation with relevant line Depar...More Button

In addition to the economic aspects, the issues which the Deputy has raised are also important considerations. My Department is considering the role that Coillte’s forests, both pre-1990 (un...More Button

I am conscious that Coillte, as part of its management of some 442,000 hectares of the national forest estate, plays a significant role in the provision of forest recreational activities, Coillte&r...More Button

Such recreational facilities are very valuable resources in their own right as tourism attractions in the various regions. One of the conclusions of a joint study, undertaken by Coillte and the Ir...More Button

In relation to the issue of harvesting rights, as I mentioned last October, one of the ideas under consideration is that a crop, or asset, could be sold through harvesting rights for the next 30 or...More Button

Other factors to be considered include strategic issues relating the forestry sector overall, implications for employment, carbon rights and the protection of the People’s Millennium Forests,...More Button

Was asked: the reason Teagasc is spending millions on classrooms in the Botanic Gardens, when such facilities already exist in Kinsealy, Dublin, and all the practical work has to be undertaken in that area. More Button

This is an operational matter for Teagasc. Under the Agriculture, (Research, Training and Advice) Act, 1988 Teagasc has statutory responsibility for the delivery of education, advisory and research...More Button

The College of Amenity Horticulture is based at the National Botanic Gardens and it trains students for employment in the amenity horticulture industry through the provision of courses at Certifica...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: the steps he is taking to construct an alliance at member state level to support Ireland’s case for reform of common agricultural policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Since I took up office in March of last year, I have made it a priority to build up alliances with my counterparts in like-minded Member States in order to garner support for my position on the pro...More Button

Over the coming months I plan to intensify these contacts. I have meetings scheduled later this month with a number of members of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament and with Iri...More Button

As negotiations develop, and, particularly in the run-up to the Irish Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2013, I will continue to engage actively with Ministerial colleagues from other Membe...More Button

I should add that my contacts at Ministerial level are supplemented by a parallel process of detailed engagement at official level by my Department with counterparts from the Commission, European P...More Button

Question No. 16 answered with Question No. 11.More Button

Was asked: the degree to which he and his EU colleagues can ensure the future viability of family farms throughout Ireland and the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Food Harvest 2020 (FH2020) represents the strategic blueprint for the development of the agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry sector for the next decade. Its implementation, as well as the pa...More Button

At European level, the future shape of the Common Agricultural Policy will be a key driver for the continued viability of family farms. In this respect note that the EU Commission’s proposal...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: if he will introduce a new fisheries Bill to decriminalise those involved in the fishing industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Programme for Government committed to replacing the criminal sanctions system for minor fisheries offences with administrative sanction system to bring Ireland into line with other European ju...More Button

I sought the advice of the Attorney General on the matter. The Attorney General has responded with a detailed advice on the issue which I am currently examining. The advice highlights the difficul...More Button

There are many significant differences between the legal systems in Ireland and that of other EU Member States. Ireland’s constitutional and legal position provides certain basic rights which...More Button

Furthermore, European Union legislation requires that penalties for fisheries offences must be “effective, proportionate and dissuasive”. That is, they must act as a deterrent and they must ...More Button

Given the nature of the penalties involved, there is a general requirement under the Constitution that alleged breaches of fisheries control regulations must be tried in a court of law. I am conti...More Button

At EU level, a new fisheries control framework was introduced in 2009 which came into force at the beginning of 2010, following fisheries control failures identified by the EU Court of Auditors ac...More Button

Was asked: if he will allow for the deregulation of small fishing boats and classify them as artisan fishing boats; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Article 6 of Council Regulation No. 1224/2009, establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy, provides that a fishing vessel may only...More Button

The registration of all commercial fishing vessels serves important functions. It is an essential element of our control systems for ensuring that we comply with the Common Fisheries Policy and wi...More Button

It is an essential element of our systems for managing access to quota species and to certain non quota species which are the subject of management plans to ensure the long term sustainability of p...More Button

It is also worth noting that financial assistance under the European Fisheries Fund for improving hygiene, product quality, energy efficiency, gear selectivity and safety on board is only available...More Button

Written Answers - Milk Quota

Was asked: his views on whether milk prices will drop in 2012; when quotas finish will dairy farmers be producing milk under cost once again; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Market forces have a major influence on the price paid to farmers for milk, as world market prices for dairy products determine the returns received by dairy processors which are reflected in the p...More Button

However, dairy markets appear to be relatively stable at the start of 2012, and the short term outlook is quite positive. Due to the volatility of international markets there will always be fluctu...More Button

In relation to on-farm production, it is important for producers to focus on profit rather than milk price, and therefore to focus on increasing efficiency and reducing cost. My Department provide...More Button

Written Answers - Harbours and Piers

Was asked: his plans to address the problem of the build up of mud and silt in the harbour at Dunmore East, County Waterford, which is preventing larger vessels from entering the harbour; and if he will make ...More Button

Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre is one of the six designated Fishery Harbour Centres, which are owned, managed and maintained by my Department. More Button

I am aware of the difficulties that the build up of mud and silt at Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre causes for the various vessels using the harbour. Dredging costs are always significant and ...More Button

The report has indicated that 80% of the harbour sediment contains Tributyltin (TBT). Unfortunately the costs associated with the disposal of dredge spoil containing TBT is significantly higher th...More Button

The options examined for dredging the harbour and disposing of the dredge spoil material in an appropriate manner are estimated to cost in the region of €6 million. This is a significant outl...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry

Was asked: the reason pasture-fed beef is being sold as a cheap commodity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Irish beef industry has had remarkable success in the last decade in transforming its focus from commodity markets to high value EU markets. In fact some 96% of Irish beef exports go to EU mar...More Button

In 2011, beef exports were worth around €1.8 billion to the economy and it is estimated that 96% of total Irish beef exports in volume terms were within the EU where they were destined for an ...More Button

Reflecting the export orientation of the beef industry and consistent with this Government’s emphasis on export growth as a path to economic recovery, the marketing strategy for Irish beef is...More Button

Industry efforts to develop premium beef brands add product value through innovation which when combined with the promotional work of Bord Bia in highlighting the natural, grass-fed attributes of I...More Button

Was asked: his plans to alleviate the damage caused by the MERCOSUR deal to the beef industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

With regard to the current EU/MERCOSUR bilateral trade negotiations, no market access offers have been made to date and none are likely to be exchanged before the summer. More Button

I am, nonetheless, acutely aware of the vulnerability of the beef industry arising from any MERCOSUR deal. I have repeatedly expressed Ireland’s serious reservations at European level about t...More Button

Ireland has been at the forefront in raising these issues at European level. Our position has been clearly and consistently enunciated in the Agriculture Council, in COREPER and at several meetings...More Button

Ireland also applied for and was accepted as a member of the MERCOSUR Potsdam Group which advises the Commission on Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary (SPS) matters and in that capacity attended negotiati...More Button

I am of the view that any agreement must not undermine the continued viability of a particular economic sector in individual Member States. Because of the potentially grave and long-term implicatio...More Button

Was asked: his plans for the continued and or further expansion of the beef and dairy herds with a view to maximisation of benefit for the food production sector and the economy in general thereby facilitatin...More Button

The Food Harvest 2020 report, which was developed in collaboration with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, lays down ambitious plans for the development of the agrifood sectors, including the dairy ...More Button

In relation to the dairy sector in Ireland, the ending of the Milk Quota regime from April 2015, provides a significant opportunity for the sector to capitalise on the competitive advantage conferr...More Button

International dairy markets have recovered fully from the 2009 price collapse and analysts consider the short term outlook to be positive. This increased market buoyancy is good for Ireland, as we ...More Button

Food Harvest 2020 targets a 20% increase in the value of output in the beef sector in the period to 2020. The Beef 2020 Activation Group, which concluded its work in 2011, laid down a more ambitiou...More Button

I am committed to the development of a strong beef sector in Ireland. In 2012, my Department will continue to operate the Suckler Cow Scheme which has been allocated €25 million of Exchequer f...More Button

In conclusion, I am extremely optimistic about the potential dairy and beef sectors. I will be working assiduously, in collaboration with all of the stakeholders in the sectors, including through t...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he and his EU colleagues have continued to monitor developments in the beef, lamb and dairy sectors in the context of world trade with a view to ensuring the continued competiti...More Button

The export performance of the meat and dairy sectors is affected by factors such as currency exchange rates, fluctuations in market prices and tariff rates. The value of beef exports in 2011 is es...More Button

I have been very proactive in developing relationships in new and expanding markets in order to build the kind of confidence in Irish production and control systems that provide a platform for long...More Button

To conclude, the Deputy can be assured that my Department and the State Agencies under its remit will continue to closely monitor market developments as they affect the beef, lamb and dairy sectors...More Button

Was asked: the markets currently showing great potential for growth at EU or worldwide level for Irish dairy products; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Exports of dairy products in 2011 were valued at €2.66 billion, which is an increase of 17% on the previous year. Ireland already has access to markets worldwide and exports dairy products to...More Button

I have been very active in developing relationships in new and expanding markets in order to build the kind of confidence in Irish production and control systems that provide a platform for long-te...More Button

I also visited Algeria in 2011 to meet my counterpart, Minister Rachid Benaissa and to open a new Irish Dairy Board Office and Packing Centre in what is already a significant, but expanding market ...More Button

Was asked: the total number of persons currently employed in the mushroom growing industry here; the extent to which employment in the sector and fluctuated in the past four years and to date in 2012; and if ...More Button

The Department’s and Bord Bia’s best estimate of those employed in the Irish mushroom industry including growing, marketing and mushroom compost manufacture is the equivalent of over 2,...More Button

Was asked: if it is possible to maximise job opportunities arising from the value-added processing of all food and food products in the dairy, meat, fish and poultry sectors with particular reference to addre...More Button

The establishment of a positive economic environment in order to facilitate job creation is one of the key objectives of this Government. Following last November’s Government’s Decisio...More Button

This Action Plan links in with the Food Harvest 2020 report which set itself a target of increasing the value added of the agri-food and fisheries sector by €3 billion by 2020. I am particula...More Button

Written Answers - Job Creation

Was asked: if he will realign fishing quotas to provide more jobs in the sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My statutory role in relation to the allocation of fishing quotas is contained in Sections of 12 and 13 of the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 which requires me to act for the for...More Button

In relation to the monthly allocation of whitefish stocks, my Department officials and the representative producer organisations in the industry, both fishermen and onshore processors, meet each mo...More Button

When making decision on the policy governing the allocation of pelagic stocks, such as mackerel and herring, an extensive consultation process is undertaken. These consultations provide the opportu...More Button

Written Answers - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

Was asked: the steps he is taking to support agricultural development in less favoured areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is widely recognised that the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is a very important one for this country, as the total area designated as disadvantaged is almost 75% of Ireland’s total land area....More Button

The budgeted expenditure under the 2012 Scheme will be reduced from €220 million to €190 million and, in order to achieve the €30 million saving in expenditure, it is proposed to int...More Button

Faced with the task of achieving significant savings in the annual budget for the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, I chose to take the opportunity to make the Scheme more targeted, rather than simply ap...More Button

I am, however, particularly mindful that any proposed changes in scheme qualifying criteria, regardless of how focused and targeted their aim, will result in anomalies, because of which I have alre...More Button

I would again stress that, in proposing the changes in question, the intention is to better focus the Scheme, which is to the benefit of the majority of those farming in areas with recognised const...More Button

The Scheme, which is co-funded by the EU, is an integral part of Ireland’s Rural Development Plan, 2007/2013, and as such, any proposed change to Scheme criteria requires the agreement of the...More Button

Was asked: his views that the use of last year's stocking rates as criteria for eligibility for entry to this year's disadvantage areas scheme, DAS, is inequitable and a deliberate attempt to eradicate so-cal...More Button

Was asked: the reason he has removed horses from the criteria for disadvantaged area scheme; his views that this will impact the smaller farmer disproportionately and also that in the longer term the exclusio...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 31 together.More Button

It is widely recognised that the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is a very important one for this country, as the total area designated as disadvantaged is almost 75% of Ireland’s total land area....More Button

The budgeted expenditure under the 2012 Scheme will be reduced from €220 million to €190 million and, in order to achieve the €30 million saving in expenditure, it is proposed to int...More Button

Faced with the task of achieving significant savings in the annual budget for the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, I chose to take the opportunity to make the Scheme more targeted, rather than simply ap...More Button

There are an increasing number of applicants under the Scheme, who have discontinued livestock (cattle or sheep) farming, but who continue to benefit from aid under the Scheme by grazing some horse...More Button

I am, however, particularly mindful that any proposed changes in scheme qualifying criteria, regardless of how focused and targeted their aim, will result in anomalies, because of which I have alre...More Button

I would again stress that, in proposing the changes in question, the intention is to better focus the Scheme, which is to the benefit of the majority of those farming in areas with recognised const...More Button

The Scheme, which is co-funded by the EU, is an integral part of Ireland’s Rural Development Plan, 2007/2013, and as such, any proposed change to Scheme criteria requires the agreement of the...More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that disadvantaged area conditions will continue to apply to farmers whose main business is in disadvantaged areas but who also have land rented or owned in non-disadvantaged are...More Button

It is widely recognised that the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme is a very important one for this country, as the total area designated as disadvantaged is almost 75% of Ireland’s total land area....More Button

The budgeted expenditure under the 2012 Scheme will be reduced from €220 million to €190 million and, in order to achieve the €30 million saving in expenditure, it is proposed to int...More Button

With the intention of targeting those farmers who are farming exclusively in Disadvantaged Areas, it is proposed that farmers, whose holdings consists of land situated both in Disadvantaged Areas a...More Button

It is also proposed to exclude land situated more than 80 kilometres from a farmer’s holding from aid under the Scheme. This exclusion will be confined to applicants, whose main holding is si...More Button

I would again stress that, in proposing the changes in question, the intention is to better focus the Scheme, which is to the benefit of the majority of those farming in areas with recognised const...More Button

Written Answers - Pigmeat Sector

Was asked: his plans to seek the introduction of a quality assurance scheme for free range pork produced here; if he has considered or performed any studies on the potential market for free range and organic ...More Button

Given that EU marketing standards legislation does not include pigmeat it is not possible to classify pigmeat production as being free-range or organic in the same way as poultry and egg production...More Button

Furthermore, as free-range pig production is not defined in legislation there are no objective criteria by which my Department can accurately measure the numbers involved.More Button

The Bord Bia Quality Mark was introduced in 1989 with the pigmeat sector in response to consumer demand for information on where their food comes from and how it has been produced. Bord Bia regular...More Button

Notwithstanding the difficulties in classifying pig production systems as free-range, Bord Bia are considering a proposal to add free-range or outdoor production to the Pig Quality Assurance Scheme...More Button

The Development Strategy for the Irish Pig Industry, prepared by Teagasc in 2008 acknowledged the small scale nature of both free range and outdoor pig production. This report also highlighted the ...More Button

On the question of organic production generally, my Department works closely with the organic control bodies and is managing the Organic Farming Action Plan 2008-2012. This plan has four main objec...More Button

The Government’s recognition of the potential of the Organic Sector is reflected in the Food Harvest 2020 Report, which maps out policy for the next ten years. Within this report, the most c...More Button

To achieve growth, the key strategy of the Food Harvest 2020 Report involves prioritisation of environmental protection, capitalising on our natural advantages and resources, conserving biodiversit...More Button

There are export opportunities, particularly in the area of beef and lamb, with demand especially strong in Germany and the United Kingdom. However, in respect of horticulture, difficulties remain ...More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection

Was asked: the way he plans to police the licensing of mussel farming; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Mussel farming is regulated in accordance with the provisions of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997. More Button

Key features of the process are examination of each application by key scientific and technical advisors to my Department, Environmental Impact Assessment pre-screening, written consultation with s...More Button

Matters considered in reaching a licensing determination include potential impacts on safety and navigation; suitability of waters; other beneficial users; likely effects on the economy; statutory ...More Button

Once a licence is granted, the licensed site is subject to ongoing inspections by my Department’s Engineers and the Marine Institute in accordance with their technical and scientific roles.More Button

Was asked: the action being taken to police Dutch super trawlers fishing in Irish waters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Operational issues in relation to sea fisheries control are a matter for the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA). I have asked the SFPA to respond directly to the Deputy.More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: his plans to increase financial support for start-up farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In addition to the range of measures already available number of new measures are being implemented to assist younger farmers as part of a budget 2012. These include:More Button

The tax changes in Budget 2012 encourage partnership formation and incentivise inter-generational land transfer. I believe they will be of real benefit to farmers and the economy generally.More Button

There are also proposals at a European level to give additional payments to younger farmers, which will greatly help them to start up or increase their production.More Button

Was asked: his plans to alleviate the burden of those involved in agriculture due to high fuel prices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The price of fuel and other input costs for farmers have risen in recent times. However, feed prices are likely to fall during 2012. Fuel prices are dependent on many factors, including exchange ...More Button

A double income tax deduction in respect of the increased cost from the change in carbon tax means that the effective difference in the excise duty paid by farmers on agricultural diesel compared t...More Button

Question No. 31 answered with Question No. 29.More Button

Was asked: if he will set up a system whereby farmers could establish a separate bank account for their profits and could pay tax on these profits as they are drawn down in order to provide more financial sta...More Button

Questions relating to taxation are a matter for the Minister for Finance. However tax legislation currently provides a scheme of taxation, known as income averaging, for certain farmers. Under th...More Button

The scheme allows participating farmers who experience fluctuations in their trading profits to average those profits over three years, thus reducing the effects of those fluctuations on their taxa...More Button

The Common Agricultural Policy also provides a degree of income stability to Irish farmers, through the system of direct payments, that would not be available in Australia.More Button

Written Answers - Forestry Sector

Was asked: if, in view of the numbers of annual visitors to Donadea Forest Park, County Kildare, approximately 140,000, and the importance of the park to the local community and visitors from the greater Dubl...More Button

I am aware of the recreational importance of Donadea Forest Park and the work which has been undertaken there over the last number of years such as the upgrading of the facilities, the development ...More Button

I wish to reiterate that no decision has been taken by the Government in relation to the potential sale of all or part of Coillte. The consideration of a number of options in relation to the possi...More Button

I am also conscious that Coillte’s forests throughout the country provide a range of recreational opportunities for the general public continuing a long tradition of open access to state owne...More Button

Written Answers - Credit Availability

Was asked: his plans to use his office to impress on the Department of Finance the need to ensure that bank credit facilities are made readily available to young farmers; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

My officials are in regular contact with farm bodies, various national banks and the Banking Federation concerning the availability of credit to farmers. I am aware that, like many other sectors, ...More Button

Central Bank data also shows that agriculture is one of the sub-sectors receiving the most new lending in the period Q1-Q3 2011. A Micro-Finance Start-up fund currently being developed by the Depa...More Button

I will continue to meet with relevant parties, including the Irish Banking Federation, on a regular basis to discuss all credit-related issues.More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development

Was asked: [117] his plans to encourage those who fish the Irish quota to land their fish in this State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As a member of the EU, Ireland is obliged to ensure that national laws do not restrict the freedom of establishment of economic operators, including persons or companies, to carry on an economic ac...More Button

On this basis, to oblige fishermen to land catch from Irish waters in Irish ports would not be in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties. Contravention would run the risk of a successful c...More Button

These are the concerns I have in relation to the introduction of any form of privatisation of national quotas (Individual Transferable Fishing Concessions) as has been proposed by the EU Commission...More Button

I promote initiatives that encourage vessel owners, both Irish and non-Irish, to land into Irish ports. BIM has taken a strong lead in working with industry to increase landings into Ireland and ...More Button

My overarching goal for Ireland’s Fishing industry, is for a sustainable, profitable and self reliant industry that protects and enhances the social and economic fabric of rural coastal commu...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he can envisage the growth and or redevelopment of the fishing industry with particular reference to the need for adequate income for fishing dependent families; the extent to w...More Button

Was asked: the total number of jobs generated by the fishing industry in this country at all levels; the extent to which this might be increased or expanded in the future in view of the ongoing economic situa...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 200 together.More Button

I am committed to continuing the path set out in Food Harvest 2020 for the development of the seafood sector in Ireland into 2012. Food Harvest 2020 identifies the potential of the seafood industr...More Button

I am pursuing three key strategies to grow the Irish seafood industry and realise the potential identified in Food Harvest. These are — growing our aquaculture production, adding value to ou...More Button

Access to raw material supply will be a key issue in the increasingly global marketplace. All indicators suggest that in the medium to long-term, wild caught fish quotas will not increase to any g...More Button

As the global demand for seafood continues to rise, there is an opportunity for Ireland to position itself as a producer of premium, sustainable seafood with a clean green branded image. In tandem...More Button

BIM’s Seafood Development Centre (SDC) has been open for two years now and in that time has brought market-led seafood innovation and new product development to the forefront in the Irish sea...More Button

In relation to scaling and competitiveness, there are 40 key Irish processing companies handling nearly 80% of seafood for the export and domestic markets. The companies range in size from €5...More Button

Ireland’s coastal areas reflect many of the central challenges facing the fisheries and aquaculture sectors both nationally and in the wider EU. To aid coastal communities face these challen...More Button

Written Answers - World Trade Negotiations

Was asked: the extent to which he and his EU colleagues have engaged with representatives of the World Trade Organisation with a view to ensuring the future viability and security of the food industry in Irel...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which agreement has been reached or is likely to be reached between the EU negotiators and the World Trade Organisation with a view to ensuring the future and ongoing development of t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 190 and 191 together.More Button

The WTO Doha Development Round talks are stalled at present and the prospects for conclusion of an agreement are uncertain at this point in time. Nevertheless, the EU Commission continues to repre...More Button

Written Answers - Food Safety Standards

Was asked: [192] the extent to which the quality of food and food products imported to Ireland or other EU countries complies with food processing husbandry and hygiene regulations...More Button

Regulation (EC) No. 178 of 2002, which sets out the general principles and requirements of EU food law, stipulates among other things, that food business operators at all stages of production, proc...More Button

Food of Animal OriginMore Button

For their import from non-EU countries, food products of animal origin are required to meet the relevant requirements of EU food law that are operated in third countries or regions of third countri...More Button

All products of animal origin for human consumption imported into the EU from third countries must be inspected at an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP). The products undergo documentary, ident...More Button

When all import controls have been satisfied, compliant consignments may then be imported and placed on the single market, where they are treated the same as other compliant products and subject to...More Button

The following table gives details of BIP checks on imports of food of animal origin in the years 2009 to 2011:More Button

Columns 3, 4 and 5 describe Column 2 in terms of the reasons for rejection.More Button

Columns 5 and 6 indicate the fate of these rejected consignments.More Button

Non-Animal Food ProductsMore Button

Food safety import controls on plant products for human consumption are co-ordinated by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). I am advised by the FSAI that there are controls in place at po...More Button

These products are subject to the same rules and controls as other products on the Irish market once they have been released by the Revenue Customs Service for free circulation. Products of non-an...More Button

There are essentially three levels of official controls for the import from Third Countries of food products of non-animal origin set down in EU legislation:More Button

1. Routine official controls under Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 (for products of non-animal origin where no specific risks have been identified)More Button

2. Increased official controls due to known or emerging risks under Article 15.5 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 as implemented by Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 as amendedMore Button

3. Emergency/Safeguard measuresMore Button

Non-compliances identified for products of non-animal origin where there is a serious risk and they have been imported into Ireland from another member state or from outside of the EU must be notif...More Button

A total of 3,829 random checks were carried out on consignments/containers by HSE in 2010. Of these, 9 consignments were rejected. There was a total of 365 consignments in 2010 which were subject...More Button

My Department’s involvement in relation to controls on imports from Third Countries arises under Regulation (EC) No. 669/2009 and relates to identified pesticide residue risks in imported foo...More Button

Was asked: the countries from which beef, lamb, poultry or pigmeat and associated products are imported to this country or the EU; the extent of the regulations in respect of husbandry production or hygiene a...More Button

For their import from non-EU countries foods products of animal origin are required to meet the relevant requirements of EU food law that are operated in third countries or regions of third countri...More Button

The EU’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) carries out an assessment of third countries wishing to export these products to EU and submits for Commission approval those where the responsible a...More Button

Where there are concerns with regard to the effectiveness of controls being operated in an approved third country the Commission, in consultation with the Standing Committee on Animal Health and th...More Button

Importers of products of animal origin from third countries are required to give prior notification of import to an EU approved Border Inspection Post. Veterinary checks comprising documentary, ide...More Button

Countries and their regions currently approved for export of beef (BOV), lamb (OVI) and pig meat (POR) are those countries listed in Annex II to Commission Regulation (EU) No 206/2010 (as last amen...More Button

The following link is to the EU Commission’s website with information on the current listings of countries/regions and establishments: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biosafety/establishment...More Button

Question No. 200 answered with Question No. 39.More Button

Written Answers - Animal Diseases

Was asked: the extent to which the full requirement in respect of laboratory facilities and testing remains available or is being made available to facilitate early identification of animal disease in respect...More Button

While the Department’s laboratory facilities at Backweston have the capability to deal with the bulk of analytical requirements, certain elements (testing for exotic viruses etc) are referred...More Button

The Regional Veterinary Laboratory network is in close contact with local private veterinary practitioners and local farming interests and maintains a close scrutiny of the level of disease occurri...More Button

Written Answers - Beef Exports

Was asked: the markets currently showing great potential for growth at EU or worldwide level for Irish beef and beef products; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Ireland exports some 90% of its beef production and around 96% of beef exports go to other EU Member States. The EU is only 96% self-sufficient in beef production and consumer demand for beef is e...More Button

The UK remains a key target market by virtue of its size and proximity. In 2011, it accounted for almost half of total export volumes with an estimated 235,000 tonnes valued at €810m, which w...More Button

Other long-term targets include, but are not limited to, the Chinese and Japanese markets and my Department is engaging actively with the authorities in those countries, amongst others, in order to...More Button

The market prospects for 2012 are reasonably positive given the likely supply/demand dynamics at work in both the domestic and EU beef markets in 2012. But there are considerable downside risks as...More Button

Written Answers - Poultry Industry

Was asked: the extent to which Irish poultry exports have developed in each of the past five years and to date in 2012; the prospects for the future at EU and worldwide levels; and if he will make a statement...More Button

The following table sets out the value and volume of Irish poultry meat exports since 2007. Great Britain and Northern Ireland account for the majority of trade although the proportion destined for...More Button

An ongoing competitive marketplace limited any potential for poultry price increases during 2011 although strong export volumes helped result in the value of Irish poultry exports rising by 3% to r...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Was asked: the number of agencies, authorities, boards, committees, workings groups, tribunals, council services, task forces, agencies, or other quangos set up by him since February 2011; the number abolishe...More Button

My Department has neither established nor abolished any State agencies, authorities, boards, committees, working groups, tribunals, council services, task forces, agencies or other quangos since Fe...More Button