Coveney, Simon

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 742 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 175 Next Page Last Page

Priority Questions - Milk Quota

Was asked: if he has raised the issue of a European wide milk quota rather than a national quota in view of the fact that the European Union will be under quota this year; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

I thank Deputy Moynihan for keeping this issue on the agenda. He has been very consistent in raising the concern that the soft landing strategy of the European Union simply is not working for Ireland...More Button

To be clear on this matter, there is no appetite in France to reopen the milk quota negotiations on the soft landing. We are asking the French minister to consider agreeing to a butterfat correction,...More Button

Priority Questions - Common Fisheries Policy

Was asked: if he will publish details of the targets that he has set out for the Irish fishing industry in the negotiations regarding the common fisheries proposals; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

I thank Deputy Ferris and his party for raising this issue. Deputy Pringle and others are also interested in the reply as it relates to the Common Fisheries Policy. Rather than reading out a long ans...More Button

On the specific issue raised by Deputy Ferris, a mechanism is in place which allows trading of quotas between countries. It is a swapping system under which my Department may negotiate and discuss wi...More Button

Priority Questions - Direct Payment Schemes

Was asked: if he will maintain the current level of funding to REP scheme, agri-environment options scheme and the disadvantaged areas payment in budget 2012; if he will acknowledge that many small farmers ar...More Button

Fair play to the Deputy. He wants me to announce my budget a few months early. The reality, of course, is that I cannot give him the assurance he seeks, namely, that there will be no cuts to any of ...More Button

I shall put on the record the facts about the disadvantaged area payments because that is a fair question. Some farmers have been paid and some have not. I shall give the numbers. To date, €164 mil...More Button

Priority Questions - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: his views that the option to use 2011 as the basis year for eligibility under the new Common Agricultural Policy would be preferable to 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have the relevant reference. There has been much concern, particularly among farmers involved in leasing. Last year approximately 17% of the farmed land in Ireland was leased, on either short-term...More Button

The honest answer is that we do not know. To use the Deputy’s terminology, it is certainly still in the mix. We have been involved in conversations on a fairly regular basis with the Commission at o...More Button

Priority Questions - Veterinary Fees

Was asked: if he has any proposals to cap the fees paid by farmers to veterinarians; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Fees paid by farmers to private veterinary practitioners are a private contractual matter between the two parties concerned and I have no statutory function in this area. In line with the position mo...More Button

It is fair to state that the cost of veterinary fees represents a significant portion of the costs incurred by those who own livestock farms. Compulsory testing has become part and parcel of farming....More Button

I will look into it.More Button

Other Questions - Coillte Assets

Was asked: his views on the sale of Coillte’s assets as part of NewERA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Although Deputy O’Dea is not present, I will read the reply into the record. Coillte was one of 28 commercial state bodies reviewed by the review group on State assets and liabilities, chaired by Mr....More Button

I wish to be absolutely clear on a number of issues. No one is considering selling Coillte land and that is off the table. When I asked Deloitte to consider the matter, I stipulated that there shoul...More Button

Other Questions - Milk Quota

Was asked: his views that Ireland could be over quota in the new 2011-2012 milk quota year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This question relates to the milk quota and I will give a short answer so people have the opportunity to ask questions. Currently, Ireland is at risk of being fined at the end of the milk quota year ...More Button

I can understand that people are trying to find imaginative solutions to this problem. We have examined whether it is possible to transfer surplus quota from Northern Ireland to the South. Unfortuna...More Button

Other Questions - Food Harvest 2020

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the targets agreed in Food Harvest 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The main targets set under Food Harvest 2020 were to: increase the value of primary output in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors by €1.5 billion, a 33% increase on the 2007-09 average; in...More Button

Other Questions - Departmental Schemes

Was asked: if he will commit to maintaining funding for all the main farm schemes in budget 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This is about the farm schemes again; it is a pre-budget submission from Deputy Moynihan. The answer is the same as the one I gave earlier. There will be reductions in expenditure, and I have been f...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. There are vulnerable persons in rural Ireland on farms, the sizes of which do not allow them to expand and grow and increase their income from farming activity. We all have ...More Button

Other Questions - Farm Safety

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the recent initiatives in which he has been involved; and his views on the increased numbers of fatalities on farms this year. More Button

I am delighted the Deputy has asked this question because farm safety is an issue which is not spoken about enough. When one looks at the figures for the numbers of fatalities on farms, one begins to...More Button

This is primarily a machinery and livestock issue with reference to the handling of powerful animals, some of which are unpredictable, particularly bulls. The number of bull beef animals has increase...More Button

Other Questions - Fishing Industry Development

Was asked: his plans to safeguard, develop and promote fishing and allied industries here in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This question concerns fishing industry development but it gives me an opportunity to express some of my concerns about the Common Fisheries Policy, CFP. Next year will be about planning for fishing ...More Button

This year the Commission has decided to take what it calls a precautionary approach. If we cannot provide detailed scientific data to prove that we can maintain fishing efforts on a particular stock,...More Button

Other Questions - Animal Welfare

Was asked: if he will introduce the new animal health and welfare Bill. More Button

I intend to introduce a new animal health and welfare Bill before the end of the year. This legislation should have been put in place long ago. It was partially drafted under the previous Government...More Button

Other Questions - Common Fisheries Policy

Was asked: his priorities in relation to the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his key priorities for Common Fisheries Policy negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 16 together. I mentioned the discards issue earlier. Every European country has a problem with discards. When fishermen catch fish which are out of quota or a...More Button

There are issues also around the Hague preferences if the Deputy wishes to ask me questions on that. We are anxious to protect what are called the Hague preferences which give this country preferenti...More Button

Other Questions - Ministerial Responsibilities

Was asked: if he will provide an update on his meeting with EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs andFisheries, Maria Damanaki and their discussions on the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the recent visit from Commissioner Damanaki; if he will provide an overview of the discussions held during the visit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 18 together. The questions are about how the visit of Commissioner Maria Damanaki went when she visited this country several weeks ago. I thank the Commissione...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: if he will confirm when the proposals from the European Commission on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The formal legislative proposals for the future of the CAP are due to be published by the Commission on 12 October next. The publication of the proposals will be followed by an intense and lengthy pe...More Button

Written Answers - Agricultural Colleges

Was asked: if he will provide additional resources for agricultural colleges in view of the Food Harvest 2020 report and the push to increase production. More Button

Under the Agriculture, (Research, Training and Advice) Act, 1988, Teagasc has statutory responsibility for the provision of education, research and advisory services to the Agriculture sector. It is a...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: his views on the greening measures to be introduced under the Common Agricultural Policy reform; if he raised this issue at his recent meetings in Brussels; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Although the detailed proposals from the Commission on the future of the CAP will not be published until next week, we know from the Commission communication, the EU budget proposals and public pronou...More Button

Was asked: his plans to consult with the stakeholders in the farming industry here in relation to the negotiations on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter....More Button

An initial consultation process was launched with stakeholders by my Department in July 2009 to obtain views on what EU agriculture policies would serve Ireland and the EU best in the years to come. ...More Button

Written Answers - Official Engagements

Was asked: the bilateral meetings he has had with other EU agriculture ministers in relation to the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Since I was appointed Minister on 9 March last, I have had formal bilateral meetings with my French, UK, Spanish and Danish Ministerial colleagues. I have also taken the opportunity to meet formally ...More Button

Written Answers - Food Labelling

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the implementation of country of origin labelling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The enforcement of country of origin labelling of food is the responsibility of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), a body under the aegis of the Minister for Health. The FSAI will have respo...More Button

Written Answers - Sale of State Assets

Was asked: if any submission has been made regarding the McCarthy report recommendations on Coillte. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, Coillte was one of 28 commercial state bodies reviewed by the Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities, chaired by Mr. Colm McCarthy, which reported in April 2011. There we...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry

Was asked: the extent to which a full evaluation has been done of the food industry with a view to identifying the future prospects in the beef, lamb, pig meat and dairy sectors in the context of likely trends ...More Button

My Department continually evaluates the various livestock sectors in the context of markets and trade agreements. In particular, the Food Harvest 2020 report provides a roadmap for the various sector...More Button

Written Answers - Agrifood Sector

Was asked: the way the agrifood sector can contribute to economic revival here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The agrifood sector is contributing to the country’s economic recovery through its significant role in adding value to the economy and its contribution to the export led recovery. CSO data show that ...More Button

Written Answers - Food Labelling

Was asked: the extent to which traceability, husbandry, processing or production standards and requirements in the food industry are applied equally here and throughout the European Union; the degree to which f...More Button

Food production and labelling in the countries of the European Union operates in accordance with harmonised rules and member states controls are subject to audit and supervision by the Food and Veteri...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry

Was asked: his priorities for the next implementation phase of Food Harvest 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The priorities for the implementation of the next phase of Food Harvest 2020 are set out in ’Milestones for Success’’ which was produced last July and is available on the Department’s website, www.agr...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Welfare

Was asked: if he will introduce policy and legislation governing welfare of race horses; when legislation will be introduced; if the legislation will bring Ireland in line with the race horse welfare provision ...More Button

My Department currently has statutory responsibility for the welfare and protection of farmed animals only i.e. animals normally bred or kept for the production of food or for use in or for the purpos...More Button

Written Answers - Seafood Industry

Was asked: the work that has been undertaken to retain and create jobs in costal communities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Food Harvest 2020 identified a potential to increase employment in the seafood industry from 11,000 to 14,000 by 2020, mostly in coastal communities. The Report also saw the potential to increase the...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy

Was asked: his priorities in the negotiations on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the latest negotiations on the Common Agricultural Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 30 and 40 together. The CAP debate has been ongoing since 2008 in preparation for the new Multi-annual Financial Framework for the EU budget from 2014 onwards. Policy...More Button

Written Answers - Land Reclamation

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the new regulations covering the reclamation of land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

On Thursday 8 September 2011, I signed into law the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Agriculture) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 456 of 2011) to address the findings of the European...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Protection

Was asked: his plans to reduce the number of seabird deaths caused by longline fisheries in view of the high number reported by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. More Button

The issue of catches of seabirds in long line fisheries is a cause of concern. I understand that the matter is being accessed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). I w...More Button

Written Answers - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

Was asked: his plans to achieve a better targeting of aid in the form of less favoured areas payments to farmers who work within areas that have been deemed disadvantaged due to agricultural handicaps (details...More Button

In relation to the funding of the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, in common with all areas of Government spending, a comprehensive review is currently being undertaken, with a view to achieving the best b...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments

Was asked: if he intends to streamline the process of grants payments to avoid delays to farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department operates a number of grants and scheme payments for farmers. Funding for these schemes is provided by the Exchequer, the EU or a combination of both and all expenditure must be carried o...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry

Was asked: his views of the role that agriculture and the agrifood sector can play in economic recovery here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on the role that agriculture and the agrifood sector can play in economic recovery here with particular regard to the Food Harvest 2020 report; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 35 and 39 together. I consider that agriculture and the broader agrifood and fishing sector has the potential to play a significant role in this country’s economic rec...More Button

Was asked: further to his recent trip to Algeria, if he will outline the opportunities for the Irish agrifood sector in that region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Having regard to the targets set in the Food Harvest 2020 Strategy, it is essential that we develop and grow our export markets for food and drinks to ensure that we have markets for the proposed grow...More Button

Was asked: the most recent export figures for the agrifood sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The latest CSO data, covering the first six months of 2011, show a continued growth in Ireland’s agrifood exports following on from an increase of 11% in 2010. The combined value of exports in the cat...More Button

Written Answers - Food Safety Standards

Was asked: if the results of the consultation process on raw milk will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The proposed ban on the sale of raw milk for direct human consumption is not new. Sale of raw cows milk was banned for many years (from 1997 till 2006) by my Department; and previously by most local a...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry

Was asked: if he will provide an update on efforts being made to encourage trade links with new markets for agrifood businesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Food Harvest 2020 strategy envisages a significant increase in output and production in the dairy and meat sectors in addition to other areas of food and drinks production, with the ultimate aim o...More Button

Written Answers - Organic Farming Scheme

Was asked: if the organic farming scheme will be kept in place for the next year; if so, will the lever of funding remain the same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government’s National Recovery Plan sets out the expenditure ceilings for my Department for the period 2011 to 2014 and future funding for the Organic Farming Scheme will have to be considered in ...More Button

Written Answers - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme

Was asked: the reason farmers in disadvantage areas are only allowed one payment per partnership in view of the stated policy of promoting milk production partnership by him to support the food harvest 2020 tar...More Button

Under current EU regulations governing the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme there is no provision for making more than one payment in the case of partnerships. However, in line with the need to improve scal...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: the progress made on the management agreement between him and the Loughs Agency to transfer authority to them to control aquaculture in the Foyle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department is working with the Loughs Agency and other relevant Departments and agencies to address the issues involved which are complex in nature. Every effort is being made to bring the process ...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork has had a deduction from their single farm payment; if he will review this case and refund the withheld money in view of the fact that they are n...More Button

The person named was the subject of a Nitrates inspection by the Integrated Controls Division of my Department acting on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government on ...More Button

Written Answers - Forestry Sector

Was asked: if he will provide statistics for the full amount of trees, full amount of forests and the full amount of land that Coillte has sold to pension funds and banks since 1989. More Button

The statistics sought in respect of the period since 1989 are currently being compiled and I will respond to the Deputy directly as soon as possible.More Button

Was asked: if he will provide the figures regarding the extent of forest harvesting in Ireland since 2007; and the way that is being balanced by planting, as per the sustainable yield promised by the strategic ...More Button

To facilitate forest harvesting, a total of approximately 33,700 hectares of forestry was licensed for felling since 2007. Each licence to clearfell, issued under the Forestry Act 1946, carries a com...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a full list of forestry grant recipients since 2007. More Button

Council Regulation No. 1290 of 2005 requires the Department to publish on its website certain details on beneficiaries of schemes funded or co-funded by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF)...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments

Was asked: the position regarding the agri-environment options scheme application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; when same will be approved; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 November 2010. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment sch...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports

Was asked: if he will provide a timeframe for the implementation of the McIver and Burke report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Business Plans for the Development of the Fishery Harbour Centres were published in 2009 and provide a blueprint for the future development of the Fishery Harbour Centres. The Business Plans set out ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the amount spent by him on legal fees in 2010 taking fishermen aquaculturists to court. More Button

The Minister did not take fishermen aquaculturists to court in 2010.More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection

Was asked: the degree to which conservation measures already adopted in the context of the Common Fisheries Policy or otherwise have improved fish stocks in traditional Irish fishing waters; and if he will make...More Button

As part of Ireland’s obligations under the Common Fisheries Policy, the Marine Institute collects data on the status of quota stocks in Irish waters. This data contributes to the ICES advice to the E...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry

Was asked: the total catch of all species landed in this jurisdiction in each of the past five years to date in 2011; the extent to which such catches were processed here and the extent of employment created; t...More Button

The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority has statutory responsibility for collection of data on landings by Irish vessels and is independent in the performance of its functions. I have no role in the m...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which fish caught within 100 km of our shores are landed and processed here or elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority has statutory responsibility for collection of data on landings by Irish vessels only and is independent in the performance of its functions. I have no role in ...More Button

Written Answers - Fish Quotas

Was asked: the extent to which all EU countries including Ireland enforce fishing quotas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Each member State has a role to enforce the fishing quotas determined by the EU Council. The EU Commission has overall responsibility to evaluate the application of the rules of the Common Fisheries ...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry

Was asked: if he will indicate, if known, the extent to which fish and fish products, fresh, tinned or smoked, available here have been caught by Irish fisherman and are processed here; and if he will make a st...More Button

My information is that approximately 48% of domestic sales are Irish in origin. Imports are understood to be mostly canned fish and frozen fillets for the fast food trade, as well imports of fresh co...More Button

Written Answers - Common Fisheries Policy

Was asked: the extent to which he and his colleagues through out the EU have studied the fish catches in each member state with particular reference to observance of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will ...More Button

Member States have no oversight role in relation to the observance of fishing quotas by other Member States. The EU Commission has overall responsibility to evaluate the application of the rules of t...More Button

Written Answers - Food Safety Standards

Was asked: the extent to which food labelling and traceability continues to be enforced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the degree to which all food products here comply with Irish and EU traceability, husbandry, production and health standards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 157 and 158 together. Food production and labelling in the countries of the European Union operates in accordance with harmonised rules and member states controls are ...More Button

Written Answers - Agrifood Sector

Was asked: his intentions to ensure that farming and food production remains an attractive option for farm families; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps he will take, in conjunction with his EU colleagues, to protect the concept of the viability of the family farm enterprise throughout Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 and 160 together. The Government’s strategy for development of the agrifood sector, Food Harvest 2020, is built on the premise of sustainable food production by fa...More Button

Written Answers - National Herd

Was asked: the extent to which the numbers in the single suckler cow herd have fluctuated over the past 12 years to date in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the numbers in the beef and dairy herds have varied on an annual basis over the past 12 years to date in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 161 and 162 together. Data on the national herd are published twice yearly by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on the basis of two categories; dairy and other cows....More Button

Written Answers - Sugar Industry

Was asked: the extent to which discussions have taken place with EU colleagues on the prospect of reintroducing the growing of sugar beet here for commercial purposes in view of the fact that the cessation of t...More Button

As part of the reform of the EU sugar regime in 2006, a temporary scheme for the restructuring of the sugar industry, was introduced with the aim of reducing EU sugar production in order to comply wit...More Button

Written Answers - Purchase for Destruction Scheme

Was asked: the total number of animals slaughtered during the beef destruct scheme of some years ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Purchase for Destruction Scheme was introduced on 1 January 2001 in response to the EU BSE crisis and ran for a period of six months. The scheme was highly successful in removing surplus product f...More Button

Written Answers - Sheep Stock

Was asked: the extent to which the numbers in the national sheep flock have varied over the past five years to date in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The results of the National Sheep and Goats Censuses for the years 2006 to 2010, which are available on the Department’s website, are summarised in the table below (data for 2011 is not yet available)...More Button

Written Answers - Agrifood Sector

Was asked: the extent to which new markets have been established for Irish-produced beef, lamb and dairy produce; the number of any such markets that have been lost for whatever reason over the past five years ...More Button

Was asked: the anticipated extent of any new markets for Irish beef, lamb or dairy products likely to emerge over the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 166 and 167 together. Irish exports of beef and lamb in were valued at almost €1.7 billion in 2010, representing an increase of almost 8% on the previous year, and the...More Button

Written Answers - Herd Numbers

Was asked: if, in view of the fact that ownership of the lands at Dromonig, Kilnamartyra, Macroom, County Cork, has been established beyond doubt having been transferred to its present owner in 1998, it is inte...More Button

As indicated in my reply to his questions on 20th July 2011 and 27th September 2011, the DVO has been aware for some time that there was a dispute over the ownership of the land and it was decided tha...More Button

Written Answers - Consultancy Contracts

Was asked: the amount he intends to spend on consultancy fees in 2011, in particular those contracted to identify value for money in his Department. More Button

I engaged three consultancy firms on a pro bono basis earlier this year as part of the Departments Comprehensive Expenditure Review. Consultants are not generally engaged on value for money exercises...More Button


Last Updated: 08/03/2013 17:27:52 First Page Previous Page Page of 175 Next Page Last Page