Food Industry Data

Ceisteanna (2122, 2123, 2124, 2125, 2126, 2127, 2128, 2129, 2130, 2131, 2132, 2133)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2122. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of beef exports to Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34276/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2123. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of beef imports from Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34277/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2124. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of beef exports to the United Kingdom excluding Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34278/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2125. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of beef imports from the UK excluding Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34279/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2126. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of pork exports to Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34280/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2127. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of pork imports from Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34281/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2128. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of pork exports to the UK excluding Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34282/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2129. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of pork imports from the UK excluding Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34283/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2130. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of lamb exports to Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34284/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2131. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of lamb imports from Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34285/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2132. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of lamb exports to the United Kingdom excluding Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34286/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2133. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the volume and value of lamb imports from the UK excluding Northern Ireland in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form. [34287/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2122 to 2133, inclusive, together.

The following tables, based on Central Statistics Office (CSO) data, outline details of values and tonnage of exports and imports to the United Kingdom, broken down for Great Britain and Northern Ireland for beef, pigmeat and sheepmeat for year to May 2019, the most recent figures released by the CSO.

Export

Export

Import

Import

Country

Category

€000

Tonnes

€000

Tonnes

Great Britain

Beef

394,450

87,401

38,227

9,499

Pigmeat

167,833

39,338

58,836

24,492

Sheepmeat

28,337

6,495

14,600

2,630

Export

Export

Import

Import

Country

Category

€000

Tonnes

€000

Tonnes

Northern Ireland

Beef

44,248

12,401

6,506

1,685

Pigmeat

19,163

4,217

3,460

1,154

Sheepmeat

193

32

212

48

Beef Industry

Ceisteanna (2134)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2134. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of cattle slaughtered in 2019 to 30 June 2019, in tabular form, which originated from factory feedlots at approved beef exporting plants; and the percentage of such cattle from the total national beef kill. [34288/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

As part of the TB eradication programme, beef finishing herds, if they meet the necessary criteria, are allowed to avail of a special status, termed “Controlled Finishing Unit”. When a herd meets the criteria to be regarded as a ‘Controlled Finishing Unit’ under the TB Eradication Programme, the herd is restricted under the TB Regulations and a special official supervisory and testing protocol is established. Such herds are not exempted from testing, reactor removal or disinfection requirements.

Restricted Controlled Finishing Units are TB tested at least once a year. This Controlled Finishing Unit status arrangement allows the delivery of an effective level of disease risk management while controlling the risk of further disease spread in compliance with animal health legislation, and enabling business continuity in this particular type of enterprise through the inward movement of cattle. Cattle from Controlled Finishing Unit herds restricted under the TB Eradication programme are only permitted to move to a EU approved slaughter plant.

As per data published on my Department's website, the number of cattle slaughtered at approved beef exporting plants in 2019 to 30 June 2019 which originated from Controlled Finishing Units was 166,500. This represents 18.5% of the total national beef kill in that period.

Departmental Data

Ceisteanna (2135)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2135. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the details of associated costs, including production costs, of a magazine published by his Department in a national newspaper (details supplied); the person or body involved in drawing up the publication; the way in which it is being distributed; the cost of the distribution; the number of national, farming and local newspapers that the magazine will be published in; the cost of same; if there is an online campaign; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34289/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The all-of-Government Climate Action Plan 2019: To Tackle Climate Breakdown, published on 17 June 2019, contains more than 180 actions that Ireland needs to implement to meet our EU 2030 targets and achieve our longer-term low carbon emission objective.

To meet these commitments, a step-up will be necessary within the agriculture sector - that means making changes on each and every one of our 139,000 plus farms. Delivering this scale of change requires a high level of engagement and empowerment. The Booklet, “A-Z of Climate Action”, highlights the actions that can be taken at farm level to enhance sustainability and demonstrates how the agriculture sector as a whole will contribute significantly to Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy and society.

The Booklet was produced and published by IFP Media and distributed with the Irish Independent on Wednesday 10 July 2019. My Department contributed €25,000 to the costs and placed an advert at a further cost of €2,000. The publication is available on my Department’s website.

With regard to the details of the costs of production and distribution, it would not be appropriate to release this commercially sensitive information which could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of the company that produced the Booklet.

As part of my Department’s public information campaign, further copies will be distributed next month at the Energy in Agriculture event at Gurteen College and at the National Ploughing Championships in Carlow in September. In the autumn, the publication will also be disseminated as an educational resource.

This publication builds on the Environmental Sustainability dialogue hosted by my Department last year which brought together a broad group of stakeholders to raise the profile of climate action and sustainability. Similarly, this Booklet informs readers of the scale of the challenge facing the agricultural sector with regard to meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) and ammonia emission targets while also signalling the likely future potential mitigation and adaptation measures that could be adopted to protect and enhance our green credentials.

Beef Industry

Ceisteanna (2136, 2137, 2138, 2139)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2136. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the qualifying criteria for the beef emergency aid measure, BEAM; when applications will open and close for BEAM; and when first approved payments will issue in 2019, by quarter. [34292/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2137. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if consideration will be given to excluding factory feedlots, factory owned cattle and dealers proposals under the BEAM. [34293/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2138. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if consideration will be given to proposals by some farm organisations (details supplied) to include prime beef animals from all enterprises under the BEAM. [34294/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2139. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he contacted the European Commission regarding the possibility of further funding considering beef prices have further decreased since May 2019 and that ongoing losses are putting livelihoods in danger. [34295/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2136 to 2139, inclusive, together.

I am keenly aware that the past few months have been very difficult for beef farmers in particular, following a difficult year for farm incomes in 2018 due to adverse weather conditions. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the on-going uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.

The recent announcement by Commissioner Hogan of EU exceptional aid for the Irish beef sector is very welcome in this context. I have been making the case for some time for an exceptional aid package from the EU Commission for Irish beef farmers, at EU Council of Agriculture Minister meetings, and in direct consultation with the Commission. The announcement by the Commissioner is another example of the importance of EU solidarity when it comes to facing significant economic challenges.

This exceptional aid provision will be given effect through a Commission Implementing Regulation. While Member States were invited to give an opinion on the draft Regulation through the Commission’s Common Market Organisation (CMO) Management Committee, the Regulation is within the Commission’s own legal competence, and was not for negotiation with Ireland or indeed other Member States, in terms of its content. The Regulation was published on 2 July 2019.

The draft proposal on the Measure as presented to stakeholders during the recent consultation process is available on my Department's website at: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingschemesandpayments/beefexceptionalaidmeasure/190710EAMPresentationStakeholderConsultationCompressed110719.pdf.

Details of the measure must be submitted to the European Commission before 31 July 2019, and are also the subject of consultation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Full details, including terms and conditions, will be issued as soon as this process has concluded.

Sheepmeat Sector

Ceisteanna (2140)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2140. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will report on the opening of the Japanese market to Irish sheepmeat; and the export targets he has set. [34296/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I am pleased to report that my Department has finalised the agreement on market access to the Japanese market for Irish sheepmeat with the relevant Japanese officials. During my recent successful trade mission to Japan in June, I announced the agreement in principle of access to the Japanese market for Irish sheepmeat. My officials, building on the momentum of this work, have now finalised the technical details of the agreement which came into effect on Friday, 19th July.

A trader notice will issue shortly informing industry of the details of this agreement, including the requisite requirements that must be met to export sheepmeat to the Japanese market. The final step is for my Department to inform the Japanese authorities of the plants which are meeting the requisite standards for the export of sheepmeat to Japan.

My Department does not set export targets. The role of my Department is to open up markets, to improve market access and to remove barriers to trade; the industry must then take advantage of these opportunities. I am hopeful that Irish sheep meat exports will follow the same success that dairy, pig meat and beef sectors have enjoyed in Japan to date.

Japan is one of the top five priority markets for meat identified by Bord Bia as part of their market prioritisation exercise. Team Ireland's presence in Japan is expanding with the appointment of my Department's first agricultural attaché to Japan, due to take up his post in Tokyo in September, and the recent recrutiment of a Bord Bia market specialist also based in Tokyo.

Bovine Disease Controls

Ceisteanna (2141)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2141. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 718 of 11 July 2019, the number of participants in tuberculosis, TB, funded schemes (details supplied) on an annual basis in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the allocation for each such scheme annually; and the expenditure in each year and to date in 2019. [34297/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Table 1 sets out the number of beneficiaries by TB compensation scheme and the total expenditure for each.

Table 2 displays the estimated budget for each year and the actual expenditure. The Deputy should be aware that there is no overall ceiling on compensation to be provided to farmers in the event of a TB restriction. The budget allocation figure is therefore used for administrative purposes as a forecasting, financial management tool.

Table 1 - No. of Beneficiaries and Total Expenditure by TB compensation scheme 2016-2019

2016Beneficiaries

2016Expenditure€000

2017Beneficiaries

2017Expenditure€000

2018Beneficiaries

2018Expenditure€000

2019Beneficiaries

2019Expenditure€000

Income Supplement

826

2,150

930

2,771

1032

3,084

551

1,347

Hardship Grant

809

333

1113

514

1037

478

340

450

Depopulation Grant

28

240

26

260

31

270

17

220

Total

1,663

2,723

2,069

3,545

2,100

3,832

908

2,017

Table 2 - Budget and Expenditure 2016-2019

Annual Budget€000

Expenditure€000

2016

2,400

2,723

2017

2,942

3,545

2018

3,700

3,832

2019

3,700

2,017 (to date)

Beef Imports

Ceisteanna (2142)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

2142. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the agreement by the EU with the United States of America for the tariff quota of imports of hormone free beef into Europe (details supplied); the annual quantities in tonnes that will be permitted into the EU; and the position Ireland took. [34298/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The EU and the United States of America will soon sign an agreement reviewing the functioning of an existing trade arrangement ensuring an autonomous tariff quota (TRQ) for imports of high-quality beef into the EU. This agreement will provide a solution to a longstanding dispute in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the issue. The current status of the agreement is that it was agreed at Council on 15th July 2019 and will now go forward for approval by Parliament.

The intention is that the existing hormone-free beef quota of 45,000 tonnes will remain at exactly the same level, with the main change arising in relation to the amount of 35,000 tonnes of the quota which will be “ring fenced” for the US. On this issue Irish and European beef producers need have no fears that the adjustment to the quota arrangements would see any more than the existing quota limit of hormone-free beef enter the EU. It is also clear that any change in the existing arrangements will have to be in compliance with WTO rules.

The Agreement also outlines that the allocation for the US will phased in over a 7 year period.

USA Others

- Year 1 18.5k 26.5k

- Year 2 23k 22k

- Year 3 25.4k 19.6k

- Year 4 27.8k 17.2k

- Year 5 30.2k 14.8k

- Year 6 32.6k 12.4k

- Year 7 35k 10K

Quota year is from 1st July to 30th June and annual volume will be divided among four quarterly sub-periods.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (2143)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

2143. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason the legal services section of his Department refused to examine the disputed original rural environment protection scheme, REPS, 4 application and plan of farmers (details supplied) in County Kerry prior to the instruction received by legal services from his Department to declare the case closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34314/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The persons named were paid in full for their participation in the REPS 4 Scheme following a determination by the Agriculture Appeals Office. The Department considered further correspondence that was subsequently submitted by the persons identified in this question and issued a full and detailed response to same. The Department now considers this matter to be closed.

Departmental Records

Ceisteanna (2144)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

2144. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 228 of 19 June 2019, if he will seek assurance that he has been given correct information in view of the fact that there are factual errors to his reply (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34315/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I have sought and been given assurance by my Department that the correct information has been provided in this case and that there are no factual errors in the reply previously provided.