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Gildernew Responds to Red Meat Taskforce Report

3 October, 2007


Sinn Féin Farming Minister, Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has said that the Red Meat Task Force Report has come at a critical juncture for the red meat industry.

The Task Force Report is the culmination of several months of work by the 6 County Red Meat Task Force, which was established to develop a five to ten year strategy for the beef and sheepmeat industry.

Commenting on the report, Minister Gildernew said:

"Today's report comes at a critical juncture for our red meat industry which, like other sections of our agricultural and rural economy, is facing real challenges. The situation is serious. We must take stock collectively to consider the recommendations and the way forward. My department will respond positively to the report and is ready to work through this with all the other key stakeholders."

The Minister said that while the report focuses on the economic viability of the red meat sector, she needed to look at this in the wider context of the contribution the red meat sector can make to the sustainability of rural communities.

Ms Gildernew continued: "We will work to help those farmers who choose to stay in the sector and look at new systems, and we will also do our best to help those who wish to change direction and take up other opportunities.

"The Task Force Report has been completed with support from all parts of the red meat sector, including government. It clearly shows that everyone involved has a pivotal role to play and we all need to move forward in this partnership approach to secure the future sustainability of our red meat sector and wider rural communities."

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  1. The Task Force Report partners include representatives from the UFU, NIMEA, DARD, LMC, Invest NI and the NBA.
  2. The Report is available at www.niredmeattaskforce.co.uk

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