Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Questions (161)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

161. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the progress by Irish and European cheese manufacturers in accessing the Canadian market with respect to the 16,000 tonne general cheese quota and the 1,700 tonne industrial cheese quota CETA agreement in view of reports that artificial barriers such as non-tariff measures have been put in place to make it harder for small EU cheese producers to sell their products into this market and avail of the increased quota. [25924/18]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The latest CSO statistics covering the period January to March 2018 indicate an increase of cheese exports from Ireland to Canada, with 57 tonnes being exported at a value of €400,000.

This represents a 50% increase over the same period in 2017.

While this increase is modest it indicates that Irish producers are beginning to access the market.

Canada operates a strict quota system to regulate dairy sector imports and I am aware that the EU’s dairy sector has raised concerns over the implementation of cheese tariff-rate-quotas (TRQs) under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

I am monitoring the situation closely and will be engaging with the European Commission and other member states on the matter.