Written Answers. - Food Boards.

Mary Wallace

Ceist:

401 Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the food boards to which his Department makes nominations; the percentage of consumer involvement in such food boards; the gender balance on these food boards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21704/96]

Under the aegis of my Department there are three State bodies who have specific functions in relation to the food sector and whose boards are appointed by myself. These are An Bord Bia, An Bord Glas and Teagasc.

Under the An Bord Bia Act, 1994 the chairman and the ordinary members, of whom there are currently 13, of the board of that body are required to be persons having knowledge or experience of consumer requirements. The An Bord Bia (Amendment) Act, 1996, increased the ordinary membership of that board from thirteen to fourteen and provided also for the appointment of one ordinary member on the nomination of an organisation representative of consumer interests. The Consumers Association of Ireland have been designated as the nominating body for the filling of that additional post and I am currently awaiting nominations from them. While the legislation governing the membership of the boards of the other two bodies does not contain any specific provision in relation to consumer interests such interests are taken into account when the boards are being appointed.

The current membership of the three boards including, in each case, the chairman, broken down as between male and female is as follows:

Male

Female

Teagasc

9

2

An Bord Bia

9

5

An Bord Glas

8

3

In the case of Teagasc five of the ordinary members, of whom two are female, were appointed on my own nomination while the remaining five were appointed, as required by the relevant legislation, on the nomination of various representatives organisations.