Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (477)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

477. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the possibility of increasing quality lairage capacity for calf exports in Cherbourg, France to satisfy increased demand in the market will be investigated; if he will direct his officials to engage with their relevant counterparts and partners at national and regional level in France to increase lairage capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8251/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Officials of my Department visited Cherbourg in September last year to discuss this issue with French officials and local lairage owners. Discussions are ongoing with the French authorities on the matter. The provision of additional facilities however depends on commercial decisions by private industry. In January, my officials met with representatives from the IFA to brief them on our visit in advance of their own visit to Cherbourg. My officials also briefed live exporters on the issue at a meeting with the exporters organised by Bord Bia in January.

My Department officials are in ongoing communication with the Irish exporters with regard to the need for co-operative management between each other to ensure that the lairage capacity at Cherbourg is optimised. Industry have also been advised to make contact with their business partners in France to explore options around the increase of capacity at Cherbourg.