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Gildernew meets with joint Oĺreachtas committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

18 June, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has today met with members of the Dáil Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Dublin.

The Leinster House visit to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (DAFF) Joint Committee at the Chairman's invitation, provided the Minister with an opportunity to exchange views on a range of agriculture issues. She also discussed specific issues including; the CAP Health Check, WTO negotiations, disease eradication, bio-security and the fishing industry.

Following the meeting, the Minister said:

"We had a useful exchange of views on the CAP Health Check. While this is not a fundamental reform of the CAP, it will cover a number of significant issues such as simplification of the Single Farm Payment, abolition of set-aside, the ending of milk quotas in 2015, modulation, changes to the model of decoupling and further decoupling in other EU Member States. The ensuing discussion was very beneficial in reaching a common understanding of respective views on these matters".

The Minister also raised the issue of the current World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations, saying that:

"I took the opportunity today to express my concerns at the potential detrimental impact a WTO deal could have on the agricultural industry and the beef sector in particular. Any agreement must be a balanced one which does not see the sector sacrificed, either, for the sake of a deal, or for minimal gains elsewhere in the negotiations on industrial goods and services." ENDS

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