Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 10 Feb 1972

Vol. 258 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Tomato Industry.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries the probable future position of the tomato industry under EEC conditions involving the removal of Ireland's quantitative restrictions; and if he will comment on the price increase of 134 per cent in the price of tomatoes over the 12 months ended August, 1971.

Under EEC conditions our quantitative import restrictions on tomatoes will be removed on 1st February, 1973, and commencing on 1st January, 1974, our import duty will fall to be removed in five annual steps in the case of imports from other member states and aligned with the Community common customs tariff in the case of imports from third countries. In addition, in trade within the Community differences in prices will be eliminated over the transitional period by means of a system of compensatory amounts which will be levied on imports or paid on exports.

It is expected that our home-grown tomatoes should continue to be able to compete successfully, not only on the home market but as at present in export markets.

Tomato prices in August, 1970, were among the lowest of the season whereas prices in August, 1971, were unusually high for that period.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries what tariff or quota arrangements apply in regard to the import of tomatoes.

During the period 1st April to 31st October an import duty is now chargeable on raw tomatoes at the rate of 2.5p per lb full, 1.67p preferential. Except for a small import quota provided for in the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement imports of raw tomatoes are not permitted during that part of each year when home supplies are available.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries when he proposes to introduce compulsory grading of tomatoes in Ireland.

Proposals for legislation in connection with the grading of agricultural and horticultural products, including tomatoes, are in course of preparation and consideration of them will be advanced as quickly as possible.

Could I draw the Minister's attention to the fact that this reply is similar to replies I have received over the past eight or 12 months——

Two years.

——and that this type of legislation is vitally important, particularly in view of our entry into the EEC? Would he also take into consideration the fact that we are losing trade abroad not through inferior quality but through bad presentation and that there is a strong demand from tomato growers for compulsory grading? I would ask the Minister to consider this as a matter of urgency.

Yes, I accept the Deputy's contention that it is urgent.