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Gildernew raises Dairy Export Refund issue to next level

28 November, 2008

In support of recent efforts by Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, the First and deputy First Minister have jointly written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown seeking his support for the local dairy industry.

The First Minister, Peter Robinson MP MLA, and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MP MLA, have jointly written to Gordon Brown this week to lobby his support in discussions on the re-introduction of the dairy export refunds at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting on Friday 28 November.

Confirming this new development, Minister Gildernew said:

"The terrible situation that our dairy currently finds itself in is a matter which concerns the entire Executive. Only last week my Executive colleague Minister Foster and I, jointly lobbied Hilary Benn for urgent special consideration of the Northern dairy industry's problems when representing our interests in Brussels on the export refund issue. Also when I heard that the issue is on the agenda for this week's Agriculture and Fisheries Council, I again wrote to Hilary Benn imploring him to re-think the position on the matter.

"On the back of this I approached the First and deputy First Minister about seeking the re-introduction of the dairy export refund here and I am very pleased that they have raised the issue to the highest level by also writing to lobby the British Prime Minister on our behalf. It is vital that he instructs the Minister attending the Council to fight the case for our dairy industry as loudly as possible. " ENDS

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