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O’Neill calls for partnership to reduce administrative burden on farmers

8 December, 2011 - by Michelle O'Neill

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill today highlighted the need for greater feedback from the industry to help in the drive to simplify working practices.

The Minister was speaking during a visit to the flagship event in the dairy industry calendar - the Winter Fair held at the Kings Hall, Belfast.

Minister O’Neill said: “It is vitally important that the industry tell the Department about specific problems they are having in undertaking their administrative and statutory obligations. Where they think there is excessive paperwork or can think of a better way to implement a system while continuing to fulfil all EU requirements, I am committed to working with them to make the working day simpler.”

DARD is currently implementing the second year of their Better Regulation Action Plan which deals with the 10 most burdensome regulatory areas. The Action Plan covers the period up to 2013 and has shown so far to be reducing the hours which farmers spend on paperwork.

The Minister added: “Although the Better Regulation Action Plan has delivered some improvements, greater feedback from the industry would help us look at the areas that matter to farmers every day and where we can make further progress.

“I call on the industry to take this opportunity to work with us on this. If we can identify and reduce the amount of unnecessary or outdated systems they are asked to comply with, it may also lead to further efficiencies within the Department and at this time of austerity we can all benefit.”

DARD will be undertaking various promotional activities in 2012 in an effort to raise awareness of the campaign to help reduce any unnecessary administrative burden on the industry. An online feedback facility is also available through the Department’s website.

The DARD exhibit at the Winter Fair provided an opportunity for all those attending to discuss the particular issues which affect them in their own individual situation, with staff from CAFRE, Veterinary Service, Countryside Management and Quality Assurance.

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