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Gildernew meets Grain Trade Association representatives

10 June, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Michelle Gildernew, MP MLA, has met with the Six County Grain Trade Association (NIGTA).

They discussed the EU approval process for Genetically Modified (GM) material and its effect on agricultural production, especially on the intensive sectors such as pigs and poultry.

The delegation was led by Gary McGuigan, NIGTA's President, who was accompanied by representatives from Moy Park, the Livestock Meat Commission, the NI Food & Drink Association and the Ulster Farmers' Union.

The Minister listened to the concerns of the industry representatives on a number of issues including the fact that NIGTA will continue to provide GM free materials for those customers who request it, however, cost and availability will be a factor. Difficulties in importing animal feed containing GM being a contributory factor to the current high cereals prices was discussed.

The Minister agreed to consider the issues raised and take these forward at EU level.
Following the meeting the Minister said

"I fully appreciate the issues raised at this meeting. I am aware of the rapidly growing demand for grain and the significant rise in prices."

The Minister acknowledged the important and valuable contribution all the attendees are making to the agricultural industry.

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