Smith, Brendan

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 692 No. 1

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Priority Questions - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: the number of farmers participating in the rural environment protection scheme on the date the scheme was suspended; the number of farmers whose REP scheme plans have since expired; the number expec...More Button

On 9 July 2009, when I announced the closure of REPS to new applications, there were 55,630 farmers in the scheme. These included 12,575 who had applied for REPS 4 in 2008. In addition, the Departme...More Button

I understand it is easy to take from the figures I gave that 10,000 will exit the scheme each year. That is not correct. There will be almost 63,000 participating in the scheme this year. The numbe...More Button

Deputy Creed would rightly be complaining at Question Time if we did not send a revised rural development plan to Brussels by 15 July. That was to draw down modulated funds and unused funds that had ...More Button

That input was that we would rationalise a number of regional offices throughout the country, cut back on administration and create greater efficiencies to provide a better service for the farmers of ...More Button

I agree REPS 4 is a great scheme. It must be remembered it was implemented and is paid for by the Government.More Button

No, that is not the case. Over 50% of it is paid for by the Exchequer.More Button

Was asked: the status of the REP scheme; the date of payment for REP scheme 4 in 2009; if sufficient funding is available to meet REP scheme 3 and 4 payments in 2009; the breakdown of the number of farmers in ...More Button

REPS 4 was closed to new applicants in July against the background of the situation in the public finances, the resources available to the Department and the substantial increase in the past year in t...More Button

No one’s income from REPS has been affected by the decisions announced in July. This relates to 2010 and people exiting the scheme in 2009. The highest level of payment under the scheme will be this...More Button

The average pay out was €6,200. In the part of the province of Ulster which does not come under our jurisdiction, the average pay out was €1,390 per farmer. Our scheme has been beneficial and, as th...More Button

Priority Questions - Beef Exports.

Was asked: the initiatives he plans to introduce to deal with the income collapse of beef farmers in view of the collapse in the price of store and finished beef cattle; his plans to assist with live exports o...More Button

The value of Irish beef exports in 2008 reached almost €1.7 billion and accounted for almost one fifth of total Irish agrifood exports. The beef industry remains very important in our international t...More Button

Absolutely. More Button

I fully support the export of live cattle but we need a balance between the cattle for slaughter here and the competition from live exports. The number of cattle exported to Britain up to 4 October l...More Button

No, I meet representative groups.More Button

I met farmers and people involved in all the farming organisations who told me that there are buyers in Britain anxious to purchase Irish cattle. We have taken up the various issues raised. Bord Bia...More Button

We conveyed to Meat Industry Ireland, MII, the representative organisation for the producers very clearly the concerns expressed to us by the exporters and farmers. More Button

We have put particular queries to the Chief Veterinary Officer in Britain and await a response. We have been told about the difficulties and have said that we want to work to eliminate them. We are ...More Button

Priority Questions - Fishing Vessels.

Was asked: if he has received advice on the potential financial repercussions which may arise for his Department following contact from the Office of the Ombudsman relating to the lost at sea scheme; and if he ...More Button

Priority Questions - Grocery Industry.

Was asked: if he has made a submission to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment’s public consultation process in relation to the introduction of a code of practice for grocery goods undertakings; i...More Button

Other Questions - Teagasc Issues.

Was asked: the measures in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programme specifically targeting cuts at Teagasc which are to be implemented. More Button

Other Questions - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: the outcome of recent meetings of EU Agriculture Ministers, including the special meeting in Brussels in early October 2009, in relation to the dairy market, both in Ireland and in the EU; and if he ...More Button

The dairy market has been discussed at Council of Ministers meetings every month since March this year. At these meetings, my ministerial colleagues and I have continually pressed the Commission to t...More Button

With regard to Deputy Creed’s last point, I do not accept that the dairy investment fund was not worthwhile. It was exceptionally worthwhile and in many instances——More Button

It was not frittered away.More Button

Perhaps Deputy Creed and his colleagues could identify——More Button

In response to Deputy Creed’s last point, I do not think that any of colleagues up in my constituency would disagree with giving grant aid to Lakeland Dairies for a very substantial and worthwhile inv...More Button

Lakeland Dairies is not paying the worst price, unfortunately, as there are prices below what it is paying. The investment being put into the Bailieboro plant is very worthwhile and will create great...More Button

Yes I did and I do not mind that. I received a very warm welcome and I saw the great work going on in that plant as well as the supply from its four constituent dairy co-operatives. That investment ...More Button

I do not know who in the world could answer the question of what price milk will be next year.More Button

The intervention by the European Commission since January has involved the activation of market support measures. That is the nature of the support the European Union can give to the dairy sector. T...More Button

Other Questions - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his priorities in the negotiations of the Common Agricultural Policy post-2013; the recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on future negotiations; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

A first policy debate on CAP post-2013 took place at the informal Agriculture and Fisheries Council in September last year under the French EU Presidency. The Czech Presidency continued the debate in...More Button

No. I point out to Deputy Creed the document we issued was consultative. It was to generate debate and to put out the parameters of the issues to be discussed. We have clearly stated that we have no...More Button

All the points raised by Deputy Sherlock are very important. I do not favour additional funding going to pillar two. Pillar one has been extremely beneficial not just for farmers, but also for prote...More Button

Yes, but it is by 2050.More Button

I cannot give a commitment for the other 26 member states of the European Union. More Button

Absolutely. My commitment is to pillar one. I have outlined that very clearly at every opportunity we have had to discuss the future of the Common Agricultural Policy post-2013.More Button

Written Answers - Farm Waste Management.

Was asked: the cost of the farm waste management scheme in 2010; and if he will confirm that it will be awarded in January 2010 as promised. More Button

The arrangements for payment of grants under the Farm Waste Management Scheme on a phased basis have been confirmed with 40 per cent being paid this year as claims are approved. A further 40 per cent...More Button

Written Answers - Domestic Abattoirs.

Was asked: the action he has taken to promote the operation of the small scale local abattoir; if he has instructed the Food Safety Authority Ireland to support the development of the small abattoir; the furthe...More Button

My Department has awarded financial support to the small meat sector, which includes small slaughterhouses and low-throughput meat establishments. Following a call for applications in December 2007, a...More Button

Written Answers - Sheep Production.

Was asked: his views on whether the average income for sheep farmers of €9,000 is an adequate wage; the action he is taking to ensure a viable sheep production industry; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

The Deputy seems to be referring to the Teagasc National Farm Survey 2008, which shows the average Family Farm Income (FFI) for sheep enterprises was €9,593 last year. The Survey also indicates that s...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: the process involved in establishing the newly proposed dairy consultative group, specifically as to the composition of the group. More Button

Last week I announced my intention to establish a consultative group to advise me on medium and long term measures for the dairy sector. I did this following the special Council of Ministers meeting ...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: if he will extend the REP scheme deadline for spreading slurry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

For participants in REPS 4, the prohibited period for spreading slurry begins on 15 October. The corresponding date laid down in REPS 3 is 31 August, but I announced on 24 August that in view of the ...More Button

Written Answers - Common Fisheries Policy.

Was asked: when he expects to submit to the EU Commission Ireland’s position in relation to the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he is in a position to respond to the EU Commission Green Paper on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 15 together as they cover similar ground. As you are all probably aware at this stage, the European Commission published a Green Paper last April on the reform ...More Button

Written Answers - Organic Farming.

Was asked: the role of and the functions to be carried out by an Forás Orgánach; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Forás Orgánach was established to drive forward the development of the organic sector in Ireland. It replaces the National Steering Group for the Organic Sector which completed its second three-year ...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: his views on whether dairy farming here, as currently structured, can compete on the world market; and his further views on the price which will be returned from the world market based on current exp...More Button

As we all know, the international dairy industry is facing serious challenges at present. Markets for dairy products are extremely weak across the world, primarily due to a collapse in demand caused ...More Button

Written Answers - On-farm Investment Schemes.

Was asked: his plans regarding the reinstatement of the young farmers’ installation aid and early retirement programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Young Farmers’ Installation Scheme was closed to new applicants on 14 October 2008. I have no immediate plans to reopen entry to this Scheme at this time. I have reopened the Early Retirement Sc...More Button

Written Answers - Food Safety.

Was asked: the amount of money paid out by him to date to producers and food processors arising from the pork dioxin problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

To date a total of €69m has been paid to pigmeat processors under the Pigmeat Recall Scheme, €30m to primary processors and €39m to secondary processors.More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Offices.

Was asked: the various phases of the plans to reorganise his Department’s offices around the country. More Button

On 15th July, the Government approved my plan for a reorganisation of my Department’s Local Office Network. The plan involves reducing, from 57 to 16, the number of offices from which the Department w...More Button

Written Answers - Supports for Young Farmers.

Was asked: the measures he has put in place to support young farmers, both in terms of on-farm investment and the allocation of milk quota to new entrants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have made provision of €9.75 million in 2009 to meet existing commitments under the Young Farmers’ Installation Scheme and the preceding equivalent schemes. In addition, I have recently announced m...More Button

Written Answers - European Council Meetings.

Was asked: his main areas of interest on the agenda for the Agriculture Council meeting in October 2009 in Luxembourg; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The next meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council is scheduled to take place on 19th and 20th October. The provisional agenda indicates that it will deal with both agriculture and fisheries it...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: the funding which has been made available to fulfil obligations under the early retirement scheme; if farmers with legitimate expectations under the scheme will receive funding; and if he will make a...More Button

I have been conscious that a number of applications were completed or close to completion at the time entry to the Early Retirement Scheme was suspended on 14 October 2008. It became apparent recentl...More Button

Written Answers - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: his plans to review the afforestation programme. More Button

Under the new Programme for Government I am committed to reviewing state forestry policy to take account of its critical role in relation to climate change and its importance to construction, bio-ener...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: his views on the alternative cost cutting proposals put forward by an organisation (details supplied) in view of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programme report. More Button

My Department has received a submission from the organisation named setting out its response to the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes. The submission wil...More Button

Written Answers - Transport of Animals.

Was asked: the position regarding the animal transport regulation proposals at EU level; and the policy he has adopted regarding same. More Button

The transport of animals is governed by Council Regulation (EC) 1 of 2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations. The Commission is undertaking a review of this legislat...More Button

Written Answers - Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Was asked: the discussions which are taking place with a view to carbon reduction within the agricultural sector. More Button

Ireland is currently facing two greenhouse gas emission targets. The first of these is the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which limits Ireland’s ...More Button

Written Answers - Aquaculture Development.

Was asked: his views on the EU Commission plans to promote the European aquaculture industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I welcome the EU Commission’s comprehensive and wide ranging strategy on the Sustainable Development of Community Aquaculture which incorporates the promotion of an environmentally sustainable industr...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Inspections.

Was asked: the position with regard to on-farm nitrates regulations inspections; if he has come to an agreement with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to avoid duplication of insp...More Button

The Local Authorities are the designated competent authorities for the purposes of the European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water) Regulations (SI No. 101 of 2009). H...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Identification Scheme.

Was asked: the position regarding the proposal for electronic tagging of sheep; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if the programme for electronic tagging of sheep has been completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 30 and 87 together. The introduction of electronic identification (EID) for sheep was agreed at EU level in late 2003. At that time, it was agreed to defer the impleme...More Button

Written Answers - Food Safety.

Was asked: if he has engaged in discussions with the Health Service Executive with regard to streamlining food safety monitoring and control; if he has advocated the establishment of the Food Safety Authority a...More Button

The F.S.A.I. was established by the FSAI Authority of Ireland Act, 1998 under the aegis of Department of Health and Children. Section 11 of that Act assigns overall responsibility for food safety in...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: the discussions which have taken place at the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers in relation to the Common Agricultural Policy post-2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views in relation to the need for a strong well funded Common Agricultural Policy post-2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 32 and 60 together. A first policy debate on CAP post 2013 took place at the Informal Agriculture Council in September last year under the French Presidency. The Czec...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the main provisions and aims of the proposed forestry Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The purpose of the Forestry Bill is to reform and update the legislative framework relating to forestry in order to support the development of a modern forestry sector that enshrines the principles of...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports.

Was asked: when he will publish the report into the pork dioxin contamination issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Review Group is considering the report and recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas committee which it received on 26th May 2009 as well as a range of submissions from interested parties. As I adv...More Button

Written Answers - On-farm Investment Schemes.

Was asked: if the 5,000 farmers excluded from the farm improvement scheme in 2007 will be given priority in the recently announced new grant schemes. More Button

The Farm Improvement Scheme was introduced by my Department in July 2007 with funding of €79 million as agreed under the Partnership Agreement, Towards 2016, and was suspended on 31 October 2007 as ap...More Button

Written Answers - Horticultural Production.

Was asked: his views on whether the horticultural producer groups are a fundamental part of the horticultural production supply chain; the action he has taken to support producers’ groups and prevent closure; a...More Button

My Department consistently supports the Horticulture sector with its grant aid schemes. The EU Scheme of Aid for Producer Organisations (POs) in the Fruit and Vegetables Sector encourages producers to...More Button

Written Answers - Milk Quota.

Was asked: his views on whether there is further scope for the allocation of additional quota to young farmers as a result of the outcome of the Common Agricultural Policy health check; and if he will make a st...More Button

When I announced recently the allocation of milk quota to 70 new entrants to dairying, which arose from the first of five annual increases of one per cent in milk quotas agreed under the CAP Health Ch...More Button

Written Answers - Adventure Courses.

Was asked: the progress made on the plans to provide high rope adventure courses in forests here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Following approaches from a number of potential aerial trail operators interested in operating such facilities on Coillte lands, the company examined the issue of locating aerial trail adventure syste...More Button

Written Answers - Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Was asked: the role he envisages of a sustainable food and agricultural policy in addressing the inter-related global challenges of climate change, population growth and water scarcity; and if he will make a st...More Button

Was asked: his views on the need to develop an overall EU strategy to address the twin challenge of achieving food security and dealing effectively with climate change; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 75 together. The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change aims to finalise an international agreement on global gr...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: his spending proposals for the use of the unspent single payment scheme funds, announced in the context of a revised rural development programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under the agreement reached in November 2008 on the Health Check of the CAP, I secured approval to use previously inaccessible unspent Single Payment Scheme funds to address, among other things, speci...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the reason for the reported 15,000 queried applications in respect of single farm payment. More Button

Agreement was reached in the Council of Ministers in June to allow for an advance of the single payment scheme payments to begin issuing on 16 October, a full six weeks earlier than the 1 December com...More Button

Written Answers - Sugar Beet Production.

Was asked: if he will investigate the possibility of re-establishing the sugar beet industry here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As part of the reform of the EU sugar regime in 2006, a temporary restructuring scheme was introduced with the aim of reducing EU sugar production in order to comply with WTO and other international o...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: the steps he will take to assist dairy farmers here, in the grip of the worst cash flow and income crisis in a generation, bearing in mind that many of their European counterparts have been helped by...More Button

Was asked: the initiatives he will introduce to bring about greater efficiency in the dairy sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 47 together. Dairy farmers incomes are comprised of the market price paid for milk and direct income support from the EU. Market forces have a major influence ...More Button

Written Answers - Aquaculture Development.

Was asked: if the operational programme for fisheries has been finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The National Seafood Development Operational Programme 2007-2013, which provides for grant aid support to develop the aquaculture industry, was advertised for public consultation in October 2008. Fol...More Button

Written Answers - Equine Diseases.

Was asked: the role played by Irish laboratories and UK laboratories in the recent outbreak of equine piorplasmosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the situation regarding the status of equine piroplasmosis here in view of the outbreak of the disease in September 2009. More Button

Was asked: the steps taken by him following recent confirmation of occurrence of equine piroplamosis in a number of thoroughbred horses at an equine facility in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42, 62 and 84 together. Equine Piroplasmosis is a tick-borne protozoal disease of horses and other equidae that is common in most parts of the world but not normally f...More Button

Written Answers - Food Labelling.

Was asked: the recent action taken on the traceability of pork products and the labelling of genuine Irish meat products to distinguish them from imported processed meat products; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The EU regulations on food law require that food business operators have systems in place to be able to identify any person from whom they have been supplied with a food. They must also have a system...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: the number of farmers penalised under the REP scheme in 2008; the breakdown of this figure; and the reason for the imposition of penalties. More Button

There were 3,381 penalties applied to farmers under the REP scheme in 2008. These are listed in the following table. The number of farmers affected is smaller, however, as multiple breaches of the s...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the level of support provided by the EU Commission in relation to the difficult market situation being faced by dairy producers; and if he will make a statement on the matter....More Button

Was asked: the proposals he is putting at EU level to stabilise dairy markets; and the level to which he is proposing to increase the intervention price. More Button

Was asked: the efforts he has made to secure EU supports for milk producers here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the guarantees he has secured from the European Commission that intervention stocks of both butter and skimmed milk powder will be firmly held until milk prices have recovered well in excess of break...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49, 53, 86 and 92 together. The Common Agricultural Policy contains support measures to help us manage the market. During the Health Check negotiations last year I fo...More Button

Written Answers - EU Directives.

Was asked: if he has consulted with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in relation to the extension of the time for the spreading of slurry following the extension given to farmers...More Button

I consulted with my colleague, the Minister for Environment Heritage and Local Government, Deputy John Gormley, and there is on-going regular contact between officials of both Departments on a number ...More Button

Written Answers - Sheep Production.

Was asked: if additional funding will be provided in 2010 to assist the sheep sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps he is taking to support the sheep industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 91 together. The sheep sector is already a significant beneficiary from the main schemes operated by my Department, which include the single farm payment, the d...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the award of permits to mussel fishermen in Cromane, County Kerry, in 2009; his views on whether changes should be introduced to the procedures surrounding the award of such p...More Button

In agreement with the European Commission, a new regulatory regime was developed in relation to wild fisheries following a European Court of Justice finding that Ireland was not in compliance with its...More Button

Written Answers - Common Fisheries Policy.

Was asked: if he will be seeking increased quota for Irish fishermen as part of the review of the Common Fisheries Policy. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the European Commission published a Green Paper last April on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The launch of this paper was aimed at stimulating broad public debate ...More Button

Written Answers - Value for Money Reviews.

Was asked: if he has concluded consideration of a value for money review on the issue of temporary veterinary inspectors; the action he proposes to take arising from this review; and if he will make a statement...More Button

This Value for Money (VFM) review relates to the use of the services of TVIs in slaughter plants which are under the supervision of my Department. TVIs are engaged, as and when required, to assist th...More Button

Written Answers - Infectious Diseases.

Was asked: the status of the swine influenza virus in pigs here in view of the recent reports of an outbreak at a farm in County Cork. More Button

On 29 September 2009 the first case of pandemic influenza A/H1N1 was confirmed in Ireland in a pig breeding herd in County Cork. A second case in a breeding/fattening unit in County Cavan was subseq...More Button

Written Answers - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: the benefits that arise from the approval, by the EU Commission, of Ireland’s application for official brucellosis-free status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the value to farmers here arising from the relaxation of various controls following the approval, by the EU Commission, of Ireland’s application for official brucellosis-free status; and if he will m...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 67 together. Following the recent EU Commission decision granting Ireland officially brucellosis-free status, I announced a series of significant changes to the...More Button

Written Answers - Agrifood Sector.

Was asked: his plans for the future development of the agricultural sector; if he is conscious of the need to ensure security of supply and a reliable price structure for producers; if his attention has been dr...More Button

As Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, I fully acknowledge the difficulties facing the farming community this year and have been consistently working both within Government and at EU level, ...More Button

Was asked: if he has calculated the full extent of the negative impact on individual producers of budgetary cutbacks imposed by his Department in 2009; if it is intended to introduce any amelioration measures; ...More Button

The impact of the decisions taken in the 2009 budget and supplementary budget will vary from individual to individual depending on their participation in certain schemes or the extent to which they ma...More Button

Written Answers - Sheep Production.

Was asked: if his Department is undertaking an investigation at meat factories in respect of lamb imports; and the details of such investigations and the names of the factories being investigated. More Button

Was asked: the investigations his Department is currently conducting in respect of sheep movements and sheep imports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 61 and 70 together. I can confirm that, as part of an investigation into movements of sheep, officers from my Department have visited a number of farms and slaughterin...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Inspections.

Was asked: when unannounced inspections commenced in 2009; when they will be concluded. More Button

The position is that while, in general, all inspections should be unannounced, my Department can give up to 14 days notice for land eligibility and cross-compliance inspections involving Statutory Man...More Button

Written Answers - Appointments to State Boards.

Was asked: when the role on the Teagasc board vacated by a person (details supplied) will be filled. More Button

It is proposed to fill the vacant position on the Board of Teagasc in the near future.More Button

Written Answers - European Council Meetings.

Was asked: the outcome of the EU Agriculture Council meeting of 5 October 2009, particularly in relation to the dairy sector. More Button

Was asked: if the views and recommendations of the proposed dairy consultative group will be published and made available to the public. More Button

Was asked: the role of the high level group of member states, established in early October 2009 at the special meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers in Brussels held to discuss the dairy market; and if he will ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 65, 68 and 71 together. At a special meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers on 5 of October there was a full discussion on the need for measures to manage the dairy marke...More Button

Written Answers - Milk Quota.

Was asked: the training and support initiatives which have been afforded to the 70 new dairy farmers allocated milk quotas in October 2009. More Button

When I announced recently the allocation of milk quota to 70 new entrants to dairying, I indicated that all of the recipients would have to attend training courses facilitated by Teagasc. That body i...More Button

Written Answers - Common Fisheries Policy.

Was asked: the progress made during the recent series of meetings with fishermen on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As you are aware, the European Commission published a Green Paper last April on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The launch of this paper was aimed at stimulating broad public debate on the...More Button

Written Answers - Organic Farming.

Was asked: the outcome of the recent review of the organic farming scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My colleague Minister of State Sargent recently announced the outcome of the review of the organic farming scheme under which support is paid to farmers in the sector. It is my intention, subject to t...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: the number of additional applications for the farm retirement scheme that have been admitted or are being considered for admission to the scheme following his recent announcement; and if he will ma...More Button

The closing date for receipt of applications is 30 October 2009 and no decisions on applications will be taken until after that date.More Button

Written Answers - Sugar Industry.

Was asked: the amount of money which was sanctioned by the European Union to upskill and retrain workers in the Mallow and Carlow areas in view of the overhaul of the EU sugar regime; the funding which made a...More Button

The temporary scheme for the restructuring of the sugar industry, introduced as part of the reform of the EU sugar regime in 2006, provided for payment of EU restructuring aid to three groups of stake...More Button

Written Answers - EU Directives.

Was asked: the representations he has received from farming organisations and groups with a view to having the slurry spreading deadline extended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the discussions he has had with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government with regard to extending the slurry spreading deadline in 2009; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 76 and 93 together. Officials from my Department and the Department of Environment Heritage and Local Government have had detailed discussions and I have also discusse...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports.

Was asked: his views on the impact the recommendations of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programme to abolish Bord Bia and Bord Iascaigh Mhara would have on the future of the agri...More Button

The Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and expenditure Programmes is being considered in the context of determining the budgetary framework and in the preparation of the 2010 Estima...More Button

Written Answers - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: the number, nature and amount of planting area applications made to his Department for forestry grants at each stage in 2009; if he will compare this with the previous five years; and if he will ma...More Button

The number of applications received in my Department for approval to plant forestry in each of the past 5 years is set out in Table 1. Table 1: Pre approval applications received The number of applica...More Button

Written Answers - Pigmeat Sector.

Was asked: the total cost to date of the pig dioxin scare in December 2008. More Button

The payments to date as a result of the dioxin incident total €102.4 million. This comprises the following: Primary Processor: €30m, Secondary Processors: €39m Producers: €23.6m, Renderers and other ...More Button

Written Answers - On-farm Investment Schemes.

Was asked: the details of the new targeted scheme for on-farm investment, announced as part of a revised rural development programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As part of proposals in relation to the use of unspent Single Payment Scheme and Modulation funds and the European Economic Recovery Programme, I have announced that, in the case of on-farm investment...More Button

Written Answers - Fur Farming.

Was asked: his plans to publish legislation banning fur farming; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The renewed Programme for Government includes a commitment to phase out fur farming over three years. I have asked my officials to examine what legislative changes are necessary to give effect to tha...More Button

Written Answers - Beef Exports.

Was asked: the steps he is taking to support a live cattle trade to Britain; the numbers exported to date in 2009; the corresponding figure for 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The live export trade is an important element of Ireland’s meat and livestock industry providing a complement to the beef trade. The following table sets out the exports of live cattle in 2009 to the...More Button

Written Answers - Fallen Animal Collection Scheme.

Was asked: the status of proceedings aimed at bringing down the costs of disposing of fallen animals. More Button

The disposal of fallen animals is subject to EU Regulations, notably Regulation (EC) No 1774 of 2002. These regulations require that animals which die on-farm must generally be disposed of through ap...More Button

Written Answers - Pigmeat Sector.

Was asked: if he will respond to reports that the relevant authorities in Northern Ireland were not adequately informed of the actions taken by his Department following the crisis surrounding dioxin in pig me...More Button

On 4 December my Department issued a Press Release to indicate that it was investigating in close collaboration with the F.S.A.I., the source of a contaminant in animal feed. This followed the disclo...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the report by an organisation (details supplied) which states that the REP scheme contributes more to the Exchequer than it costs; and if this report will inform hi...More Button

I am aware of the statement by the organisation concerned. However, REPS 4 was closed to new applicants in July against the background of the situation in the public finances, the resources available...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Inspections.

Was asked: the number of inspections to be carried out under the single payment scheme in 2009; the number carried out to date in 2009; and the number of penalties imposed. More Button

In the context of delivering the Single Payment Scheme, my Department is required to carry out on-the-spot inspections on a number of farms covering such issues as eligibility under the Scheme, compli...More Button

Written Answers - Beef Imports.

Was asked: the attempts he has made to convey Irish concerns on the importing of Brazilian beef to the European Commission. More Button

In December 2007 the Commission proposed more severe restrictions on Brazilian imports to the Community. This arose from the findings of EU Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) during its various missions...More Button

Written Answers - Cross Compliance Measures.

Was asked: the specific irregularities relating to cross-compliance measures that led to his Department being fined €715,000. More Button

There are no specific irregularities relating to cross compliance measures that led to my Department being fined by the European Commission. The position is that, following a preventative audit by th...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon will receive their REPS 4 payment; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications, including plan checks, to b...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the costs incurred by his constituency office and the constituency offices of the Ministers of State at his Department for leaflet design, production, delivery and other related costs in 2007, 2008 a...More Button

There are no costs to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in relation to Constituency office costs for leaflet design, production and delivery. More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Travel.

Was asked: the total cost of foreign travel, including flights, accommodation, food, subsistence, travel and other incidental costs, incurred by the Minister and Ministers of State at his Department in 2007, 20...More Button

The information requested is being compiled and will be made available as soon as possible.More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the cost incurred by his constituency office and the constituency offices of Ministers of State at his Department in relation to political websites in 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; and if he will m...More Button

There are no costs to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in relation to Constituency office costs for political websites. More Button

Written Answers - Compensation Schemes.

Was asked: the compensation package offered to qualifying applicants for the pork recall compensation scheme, including the deciding criteria for acceptance into the scheme; the amount paid to date in 2009; the...More Button

The agreement concluded with pig processors in December 2008 involved making available a facility of €180 million from the public finances to assist processors in funding the recall and destruction of...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the costs incurred by his constituency office, and the constituency offices of Ministers of State in his Department, in relation to the advertising of clinics, public meetings and other events and se...More Button

There are no costs to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in relation to Constituency office costs for advertising of clinics, public meetings and other events.More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Travel.

Was asked: the cost of official domestic travel including all transport costs, accommodation, meals and other incidentals incurred by himself and the Ministers of State at his Department in 2007, 2008 and to da...More Button

The various costs requested are being assembled and the information will issue directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

Written Answers - Agrifood Sector.

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take to address the issue of collapsing prices in the agri sector with particular reference to the fact that costs remain disproportionately high; and if he will make a state...More Button

There is no doubt that certain parts of the industry are facing significant challenges this year, although, some reduction in input prices should help to soften the impact of these difficulties. In t...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: when he proposes to restore the REP scheme in full; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 was closed to new applicants in July against the background of the situation in the public finances, the resources available to the Department and the substantial increase, over the past year, ...More Button

Written Answers - Agricultural Exports.

Was asked: the number of new markets identified for agricultural produce in the beef, lamb, pig meat and dairy sectors; the number of markets that have ceased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Irish beef exports in recent years have been targeted at the high-value UK and Continental EU markets, with these destinations accounting for 99% of exports in 2007 and 98% in 2008. Efforts to secure ...More Button

Written Answers - Agrifood Sector.

Was asked: his plans for the future development of the beef, sheep, pig, lamb, cereal and dairy sectors with a view to making the necessary provision for the future of the industry, bearing in mind the competit...More Button

It is my job as Minister to plan to help the agri food sector to meet all challenges to all sectors in the coming decade. In order to do this the sector must improve competitiveness so that it can cap...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: the discussions he has had or proposes to have with his EU colleagues with the objective of adopting a short, medium and long-term plan for the agricultural sector, bearing in mind the need to provid...More Button

According to the European Commission’s latest statistics, the EU’s overall trade in agricultural produce is fairly close to balance with its total trade of almost €153 billion in 2007, split between i...More Button

Was asked: if he has had discussions with his EU colleagues with a view to ensuring the future of the food production sector throughout the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There have been a number of discussions at EU Council level on the future of European food production in the context of the CAP after 2013. This issue has also been to the forefront of bilateral conta...More Button

Written Answers - Sugar Beet Production.

Was asked: the countries within the EU currently involved in sugar production from sugar beet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The 2006-2009 scheme for the restructuring of the European sugar industry, which was implemented as part of the reform of the EU sugar regime, resulted in the EU sugar quota being reduced by 5.2 milli...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his plans to ensure a reasonable standard of income throughout the agricultural production sector with particular reference to the future needs in terms of food production here and throughout the EU;...More Button

Agricultural production in Ireland and the EU and farm income must be viewed in the context of a reformed and evolving Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which has placed much more emphasis on market o...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: the extent to which the costs to the dairy producer here compare with those in the UK, France and other EU countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the extent to which milk prices to the dairy producer here compare with those in the UK, France and other EU countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 and 264 together. Analysis of Irish dairy farming shows a wide variation in performance efficiencies between high and low cost producers. There is a difference of ...More Button

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take to address the issues raised by dairy farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take nationally or in conjunction with his EU colleagues to address the issue of collapsing prices for the dairy producer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 263 and 265 together. The Common Agricultural Policy contains support measures to help us manage the market. During the Health Check negotiations last year I fought ha...More Button


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