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Gildernew meets farming Unions

26 October, 2007


Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has met with a joint delegation from the UFU and NIAPA to discuss a range of issues.

Following the meeting the Minister said: "This was an opportunity to outline progress on a number of current issues. I provided union reps with an update on the independent review I established aimed at reducing bureaucracy for farmers.

"We also discussed wildlife involvement in the spread of bovine TB, together with issues arising from the Single Farm Payment arrangements as well as progress with the Farm Nutrient Management Scheme.

" I again asked the unions to encourage their members to press ahead with work funded under the Farm Nutrient Management Scheme, as quickly as possible and we have agreed to work together to ensure that local farmers all meet the EU's December 2008 deadline. I sought their views on extending all approvals under the scheme so that applicants have until December 2008 to complete work and submit claims. I have decided to allow that facility. The department will write to those who already have approval and having not submitted their claim advising that their approval is extended."

The Minister also discussed the Red Meat Task Force report, saying that the industry needed to take stock collectively and that DARD stand ready to work through this with key stakeholders.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The UFU delegation was comprised of Kenneth Sharkey (President), Clarke Black (Chief Executive) and Wesley Aston (Director of Commodities and Food). The NIAPA delegation comprised Sean Fitzpatrick (Chairman), Jim Carmichael (Development Officer) and Sean Clarke.

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