Grant Aid

Questions (1437)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

1437. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if grant aid is available for the preservation of honey bees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36480/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department provides a range of supports to the bee sector. The 2019 Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector provided grants to support the activities of beekeepers including towards capital investments in specialised buildings and equipment for the beekeeping sector.

My Department also provides some support for beekeeping though the national Scheme for the Conservation of Genetic Resources where the focus is on conserving native bees.

In addition, the Department also provides an annual grant to the National beekeeping federations to pursue the craft of beekeeping to the highest standards and also to inform the general public about the environmental role that bees play in maintaining Irish biodiversity and crop production.

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

Questions (1438)

Niall Collins

Question:

1438. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the number of cows will be altered to allow entry to the beef exceptional aid measure scheme in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36481/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

All details relating to Beef Exceptional Aid Measure are set out in the Terms and conditions published on my Department's website:

https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingschemesandpayments/beefexceptionalaidmeasure/BEAMTANDC150819.pdf

The scheme, which has been agreed with the EU Commission, was designed to ensure that the aid is effectively used and targeted towards those most affected by the market disturbance in the sector. It is not possible to change the terms of the scheme at this point.

I recently extended the closing date for BEAM applications to 15th September. There is a helpline in place to deal with individual farmers queries and my Department will be holding a number of online clinics in the run up to the extended closing date.

Brexit Supports

Questions (1439)

Brendan Smith

Question:

1439. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to introduce a comprehensive package of market support measures to assist the agricultural sector due to the adverse impacts of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36491/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I have had ongoing discussions with Commissioner Hogan regarding the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit. I have stressed the need for the Commission to be ready to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on the agri-food and fisheries sector. Avoiding a no-deal Brexit continues to be the Government’s overriding policy priority.

I am also keenly aware that the recent months have been very difficult for beef farmers in particular. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.

In advance of Brexit and in recognition of the impact of the uncertainty around Brexit, amongst other factors, on the Irish beef sectors and prices, the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM), with funding of up to €100 million from the EU and the Exchequer, has opened for applications. I recently extended the closing date for BEAM applications to 15th September. There is a helpline in place to deal with individual farmers queries and my Department will be holding a number of online clinics in the run up to the extended closing date.

Brexit Preparations

Questions (1440)

Brendan Smith

Question:

1440. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has secured agreement from the European Commission to ease the state aid limitation on the provision of support for the agricultural sector due to the difficulties that will arise from Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36494/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Our practical preparations for all potential scenarios, including a no-deal Brexit, continue to be progressed and refined through the whole-of-Government co-ordination structures that have been in place for some time.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Government will implement a range of economic responses that will seek to mitigate the impact on vulnerable sectors and groups. This approach will include:

- Targeted supports for vulnerable but viable sectors and enterprises;

- Labour market and activation interventions to support employees affected;

- Continued increased capital investment in accordance with Project Ireland 2040 which will act as a stimulus to the economy;

- Continued engagement with the European Commission and other Member States in respect of financial supports and flexibilities under State Aid rules and the Common Agricultural Policy.

I and my officials have been working very hard for quite some time to sensitise other Member States and the European Commission to the potentially very severe impacts of Brexit on the Irish agri-food and fisheries sectors, and to the likelihood of specific supports being required in order to deal with these impacts. The institutions of the European Union are very well aware of the likelihood of a significant impact of a disorderly Brexit on Ireland’s economy. This has been part of the discussion from the beginning, and indeed, this is explicitly recognised in the Commission’s own communications on contingency planning.

I have stressed the need to be ready to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on farmers and processors, including through traditional market supports and exceptional aid under the CAP's Single Common Market Organisation regulation, as well as increased flexibility under State Aid regulations, which has already been the subject of discussions with the Commission. Commissioner Hogan has clearly stated the EU’s readiness to respond and support Ireland, and we will remain in contact on these issues as the situation evolves.

As regards state aid, my Department operates the State aid rules and regulations governing the agriculture sector, where the state aid limits under the agriculture de minimis regulation recently increased from €15,000 to €20,000 per undertaking over a rolling three-year period. This figure can be increased to €25,000 in certain circumstances. The increase in the de minimis threshold limits allows for greater flexibility and efficiency, notably in times of crisis and situations demanding a swift response by the public authorities.

I have said that the State will not be found wanting when it comes to supporting the Irish agri-food sector and farmers when it comes to Brexit. The increase in the agriculture de minimis limits is an important step. I am continuing to explore options under the State aid rules with the European Commission to support the agri-food industry at this time.

With regard to increases or exemptions to state aid limits applicable to other sectors, this is a matter for the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation, who are the competent authority for the implementation of the general State aid rules and regulations in Ireland.

Beef Industry

Questions (1441)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1441. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he is taking to reconvene beef talks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36504/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

There has been significant engagement with stakeholders throughout the duration of this dispute and I believe that there is now a basis for the renewal of talks between the parties. These talks have been scheduled for next Monday 9th September.

We have reached a point where it is critically important for the future of the sector that stakeholders engage in a spirit of compromise to resolve a dispute that has the potential to inflict long term damage on the sector if it continues. It is clear that this can only happen if processors and protestors step back from Court proceedings and illegal blockades, in order to allow space for meaningful talks to proceed.

EU Directives

Questions (1442)

Brendan Smith

Question:

1442. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 719 of 11 June 2019, the progress made in transposing and enforcing the EU unfair trading practices directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36506/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Directive (EU) 2019/633 on Unfair Trading Practices in Business-to-Business Relationships in the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain (UTP Directive), was agreed on 13 March 2019. Transposition of the Directive is required within 24 months from publication on 17 April 2019.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has responsibility for the current national legislation - the Consumer Protection Act 2007 (Grocery Goods Undertakings) Regulations 2016 - under which UTPs are addressed. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is the independent statutory body responsible for the enforcement of competition and consumer protection law and it is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Grocery Goods Regulations, investigating complaints and, where appropriate, taking enforcement action.

An Inter-departmental working group has been established between officials from my Department and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI). The group has met five times to date. This working group is finalising preparations for the launch of a stakeholder consultation process which will invite submissions from interested parties on the transposition and enforcement of the EU Directive.

This consultation will be launched in the near future.

Aquaculture Licence Data

Questions (1443)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

1443. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the aquaculture licences issued pursuant to section 19A(4) of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36511/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department does not issue aquaculture licences pursuant to Section 19(A)4 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997.

Section 19(A)4 of the Act permits an operator who has applied for a renewal of an aquaculture licence to continue operating, subject to the terms and conditions of the original licence held, pending a determination in respect of the licence renewal application in question.

Brexit Preparations

Questions (1444)

Brendan Smith

Question:

1444. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the plans he put forward at the most recent EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in relation to the need to provide adequate assistance to the agrifood sector here due to the adverse impacts of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36537/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The most recent EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council took place in Brussels on 15 July 2019. While Brexit was not a formal Council agenda item, I raised the issue of the threat of a negative Brexit outcome on Ireland’s agri-food sector, in particular the beef sector, during discussions on the EU-Mercosur trade item.

I have been very active in keeping my EU colleagues and the European Commission appraised of Ireland’s concerns about the impact of Brexit on our agri-food and fisheries sector. Over the last two years, I have held a series of bilateral meetings with key Member States, including the Netherlands, Germany, France, Denmark and Austria in an effort to build alliances and assess the degree to which these Member States would support our efforts to have the agri-food and fisheries impacts of Brexit specifically and adequately taken account of in the future relationship negotiations. I have also met with the Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella and I speak regularly with the Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, to press Ireland’s agri-food concerns.

I will continue to remain vigilant in pressing Ireland’s concerns at every conceivable opportunity at this critical stage of the Brexit process.

Foreshore Licence Applications

Questions (1445)

Niall Collins

Question:

1445. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if an official from his Department will contact a person (details supplied) that wishes to develop an area of foreshore on the Shannon estuary near Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36559/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department has contacted the person referred to by the Deputy.

The proposed development is a matter that comes within the remit of the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government. This information and relevant contact details have been conveyed to the person named.

GLAS Applications

Questions (1446)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

1446. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider accepting an appeal submitted by a person (details supplied) in respect of the GLAS scheme particularly in view of the medical circumstances of the applicant and their spouse; and if the person will be permitted to have their NMP plan submitted. [36765/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved into the GLAS 1 scheme with a contract commencement date of 1 October 2015 and received payments for 2015 and the 2016 Advance payment.

The applicant was notified on 13 March 2018 that the GLAS contract had been terminated for failure to submit a Nutrient Management Plan as required under the Terms and conditions of the Scheme. A number of reminders had issued to the applicant and his advisor prior to this.

The applicant was informed of the option of appealing the decision to the Agriculture Appeals Office (AAO), within three months of the date of this letter. The Department was not notified of the submission of an appeal in this case.

The applicant subsequently submitted an application for Force Majeure through their Advisor to GLAS Division on 29 May 2019 in relation to the clawback of GLAS payments following rejection from the scheme. This application was not accepted as the application did not meet the requirements under Force Majeure as laid out in the terms and conditions of the scheme.

Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme

Questions (1447)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1447. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applications received under the targeted agricultural modernisation scheme 2 by county and tranche in tabular form; the number of approved applications by county; the number of payment claims logged by county; the number of payment claims approved for payment by county; the funds allocated to the scheme under the 2014-2020 RDP; the amount expended to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36817/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The budget for TAMS II for the duration of the RDP (2014-2020) is €395m. Payments to date under the TAMS II scheme now exceed €164m. There are over 11,000 approved applications with farmers who have yet to complete the approved works and submit payment claims.

TAMS II applications and payment claims are broken down in tabular form by county in the following link:

TAMS II

Beef Industry

Questions (1448)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1448. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of producer organisations in the beef sector that have registered with his Department; the name of each; and the financial supports in place to fund the setting up of such organisations. [36818/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Funding providing support for the establishment of Beef Producer Organisations is available under the current Rural Development Programme. This funding is available to support the engagement of Department-approved facilitators to assist with the application process for recognition of producer organisations. Funding is available for each group of up to a total of €3,000.

My Department is currently engaging intensively with a number of interested groups with a view to progressing applications for the establishment of DAFM recognised Beef Producer Organisations.

Diplomatic Representation

Questions (1449)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1449. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the details of each embassy worldwide which has agricultural attachés stationed; and the number of attachés stationed in each embassy by city and country. [36819/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Irish embassies that currently have an agricultural attaché and the number of such attachés stationed in each such specific embassy are shown in the following table.

Permanent Representation of Ireland to the E.U, Brussels, Belgium – 3 attachés

Embassy of Ireland, London, United Kingdom – 1 attaché

Embassy of Ireland, Rome, Italy – 1 attaché

Embassy of Ireland, Paris, France – 1 attaché

Ireland’s Permanent Mission to UN Organisations Geneva, Switzerland – 1 attaché

Embassy of Ireland, Washington DC, USA – 1 attaché

Embassy of Ireland, Beijing, People's Republic of China – 1 attaché

Embassy of Ireland, Abu Dhabi, UAE – 1 attaché

Embassy of Ireland, Tokyo, Japan - 1 attaché

Embassy of Ireland, México - 1 attaché

Embassy of Ireland, Berlin, Germany - 1 attaché

Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme

Questions (1450)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1450. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applications to tranche 14 of TAMS; the number of approved applicants; the number of applicants whose applications were refused; and the number of approved applicants that have received funding by county in tabular form. [36820/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The total number of new applications received in Tranche 14 of TAMS II was 2,377. When combined with the 675 applications rolled over from the previous tranche, this brings the total number of applications for consideration in that tranche to 3,052.

These applications are currently going through administrative checks. Approvals have begun to issue and will continue on an ongoing basis. The detailed information requested will be provided directly to the Deputy when all applications have been fully assessed.

Brexit Staff

Questions (1451)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1451. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of full-time and part-time staff assigned to the dedicated Brexit unit within his Department by staff grade in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36823/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Reporting to the Assistant Secretary with responsibility for EU and International Affairs and Rural Development, the number of full-time and part-time staff assigned to my Department's dedicated Brexit Unit, by grade, is listed in the following table.

Brexit Unit

Grade

No. of Staff

Senior Inspector (Principal Officer Equivalent) Head of Division

1

Assistant Principal

3

Administrative Officer

1

Higher Executive Officer

2 (1 HEO 80% work pattern)

Executive Officer

1 (80% work pattern)

Clerical Officer (currently vacant)

1

Grand Total

9

While the staff shown in the above table work in the Brexit Unit within my Department, it should be noted by the Deputy that staff at various levels across my Department are involved in a wide variety of Brexit-related duties and activities.

Plant Protection Products

Questions (1452)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1452. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for his decision not to grant a derogation for the use of a plant protection product (details supplied); the alternative substances that are available to tillage farmers to control the barley yellow dwarf virus; and the supports that will be put in place for this purpose. [36824/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In 2013, the EU Commission introduced a partial ban on some neonicotinoids, including clothianidin, due to concerns about potential impacts on pollinators. Following further studies, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that, due to the potential risks, use of these neonicotinoids should be confined to permanent greenhouses. In April 2018, the EU Standing Committee on Pesticide Legislation recorded a qualified majority vote in favour of the EU Commission proposal to ban the use of clothianidin on outdoor crops which came into full effect on 19 December 2018.

During discussions at EU level throughout the period to the vote in 2018, the importance of clothianidin as a seed dressing for some crops was considered, including for sugar beet and cereals. However, the EFSA evaluations identified risks for all treated crops grown outside, particularly the potential for exposure of pollinators through uptake of neonicotinoid residues in soil by succeeding crops. EFSA were therefore very clear in identifying risks to the environment associated with the use of these chemicals.

My Department makes product authorisation decisions on the basis of the latest scientific information and must be guided by this evidence. After careful consideration, it was decided not to grant the emergency authorisation requested for this product.

This approach supports our commitment to a sustainable agriculture sector which is based on the fundamental protection of biodiversity, including pollinators, the environment and human health.

With regard to the issue of crop management options, Teagasc supports the Irish tillage sector by delivering science-led solutions that underpin both the profitability and environmental sustainability of our cropping systems. Teagasc have specific advisory information available in this regard and the further development of cultural control options continues to be explored.

Bord Bia Funding

Questions (1453)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1453. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the funding application by Bord Bia to the EU to market Irish suckler beef as a premium product and increase the return for the primary producer. [36825/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the EU Promotion of Agricultural Products Regime, Bord Bia has submitted an application for an Information and Promotion Campaign on EU Suckler Beef, with the strapline " EU Suckler Beef - Wholesome, Raised as Nature Intended". The destination markets are Germany and Italy. The duration of the programme is three years, with a budget of €2.9 million, of which 70% would be co-funded by the EU.

The application is currently under scrutiny in Brussels as part of a competitive process, with the EU Commission Decision on successful applications expected to be published in Q4 2019. If approved, the Irish Suckler Beef Promotion programme would start early in 2020.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Payments

Questions (1454)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1454. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason 15% of 2019 ANC payments will not be issued to approved farmers until December 2019. [36826/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme is a key financial support for farmers throughout the country. With this in mind, I have increased the budget for the Scheme in 2019 to €250m.

Payments under EU funded schemes are subject to various EU regulations. In this instance, EU Regulation No 1306/2013 as amended by what is referred to as the omnibus regulation sets out many of the rules relating to the timing of payments. Under this amended Regulation, it is permitted to pay advance payments under the ANC before 1 December. The rate set out in the Regulation for these advance payments is 75%.

My Department submitted a request for a derogation from the relevant regulations to the EU Commission, to allow us to continue making full payments under the ANC in mid-September as had been allowed under the Regulation in previous years. This request has not been acceded to, although the advance payment rate has been increased to 85% on foot of this request.

My Department is now finalising arrangements to commence payments under a range of schemes in the coming months, to ensure that these important financial supports are delivered to farmers in an efficient manner.

Beef Industry

Questions (1455)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1455. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the latest attempts to reconvene beef talks with all stakeholders; and the efforts taken since protests started to find a resolution to the impasse. [36827/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I share the Deputy's concerns about the ongoing serious difficulties facing the beef sector.

There has been significant engagement with stakeholders throughout the duration of this dispute and I believe that there is now a basis for the renewal of talks between the parties. These talks have been scheduled for next Monday 9th September.

We have reached a point where it is critically important for the future of the sector that stakeholders engage in a spirit of compromise to resolve a dispute that has the potential to inflict long term damage on the sector if it continues. It is clear that this can only happen if processors and protestors step back from Court proceedings and illegal blockades, in order to allow space for meaningful talks to proceed.

Beef Industry

Questions (1456)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1456. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has formally submitted an application to the EU Commission for market disturbance funding for beef farmers under Article 219 of the CAP in view of the fact that prices have fallen further since May 2019. [36828/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I have had ongoing discussions with Commissioner Hogan regarding the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit. I have stressed the need for the Commission to be ready to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on the agri-food and fisheries sector. Avoiding a no-deal Brexit continues to be the Government’s overriding policy priority.

I am also keenly aware that the recent months have been very difficult for beef farmers in particular. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.

In advance of Brexit and in recognition of the impact of the uncertainty around Brexit, amongst other factors, on the Irish beef sectors and prices, the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM), with funding of up to €100 million from the EU and the Exchequer, has opened for applications. I recently extended the closing date for BEAM applications to 15th September. There is a helpline in place to deal with individual farmers queries and my Department will be holding a number of online clinics in the run up to the extended closing date.

Beef Industry

Questions (1457)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1457. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on latest analysis by an organisation (details supplied) that farmers receive just half the total value realised for beef animals. [36829/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

This issue was raised at the recent beef stakeholder talks chaired by an independent chairperson and facilitated by my Department. Significant progress was made on a range of issues after long and detailed negotiations, including in relation to improvements in transparency along the supply chain, and in communications between industry and farmers and a review of some market specifications.

Full details of the Backweston Agreement are available at:

https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingsectors/beef/StakeholderConclusions210819.pdf

My Department is actively progressing relevant commitments, including, for example, starting the procurement process for an in-depth review of market and customer criteria and an independent study of price composition along the supply chain.

There has been significant engagement with stakeholders throughout the duration of this dispute and I believe that there is now a basis for the renewal of talks between the parties. These talks have been scheduled for next Monday 9th September.

We have reached a point where it is critically important for the future of the sector that stakeholders engage in a spirit of compromise to resolve a dispute that has the potential to inflict long term damage on the sector if it continues. It is clear that this can only happen if processors and protestors step back from Court proceedings and illegal blockades, in order to allow space for meaningful talks to proceed.

Beef Industry

Questions (1458)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1458. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the proposal by a farm organisation (details supplied) for an investigation to be carried out in the beef sector in order to establish processor and retailer margins along the supply chain. [36832/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Progress was made on a range of issues after long and detailed negotiations in August, including in relation to improvements in transparency along the supply chain, and in communications between industry and farmers and a review of some market specifications.

The agreement includes commitments on:

- Review of the grid;

- Review of the in-spec criteria for the quality payment system bonus;

- Availability of carcass images to farmers;

- Appeals system for carcass classification in manually grading factories;

- Publication of an expert report on new technology in mechanical carcass classification and

- Promotional initiatives for the beef sector;

- Market transparency initiatives, including more detailed price reporting, and the transposition of the EU Directive on Unfair Trading Practices.

Full details of the Backweston Agreement are available at: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingsectors/beef/StakeholderConclusions210819.pdf

There has been significant engagement with stakeholders throughout the duration of this dispute and I believe that there is now a basis for the renewal of talks between the parties. These talks have been scheduled for next Monday 9th September.

We have reached a point where it is critically important for the future of the sector that stakeholders engage in a spirit of compromise to resolve a dispute that has the potential to inflict long term damage on the sector if it continues. It is clear that this can only happen if processors and protestors step back from Court proceedings and illegal blockades, in order to allow space for meaningful talks to proceed.

EU Regulations

Questions (1459)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1459. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding a proposed European Commission regulation (details supplied) regarding greater transparency in the way in which prices are reported throughout the chain; the timeline for this measure to be adopted at EU level and likely transposition period for member states and here; and the reporting requirements involving operators in the regulation. [36833/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I welcome initiatives to improve market transparency on EU agricultural markets. Since 2016, the various Market Observatories (milk, meat, crop and sugar) have been rolled out and all aim to monitor the development of production, consumption patterns and market volatility in the EU focusing on the provision of short term analyses, as well as analyses and economic outlook to help economic operators to manage their business more effectively.

A draft amended Commission implementing regulation, published in May this year, aims to further increase market transparency by collecting more detailed price data at various points along the food supply chain. My Department will implement the regulation when it has been finalised at EU level.

Beef Industry

Questions (1460)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1460. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of suckler cows by county in tabular form. [36834/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The definition of suckler cows used for statistical purposes is beef cows who have calved at least once in their lifetime. The table below shows the number of suckler cows per county at the end of 2018:

2018

County

Sucklers

Carlow

15,013

Cavan

43,625

Clare

67,299

Cork

69,482

Donegal

38,607

Dublin

3,552

Galway

96,959

Kerry

43,227

Kildare

16,995

Kilkenny

30,966

Laois

32,380

Leitrim

25,591

Limerick

32,493

Longford

24,591

Louth

11,117

Mayo

71,276

Meath

31,254

Monaghan

30,325

Offaly

29,640

Roscommon

50,298

Sligo

29,316

Tipperary

52,594

Waterford

18,959

Westmeath

33,748

Wexford

30,699

Wicklow

21,391

Total

951,397