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Ferris Questions Import of Ukranian Grain

22 July, 2004

The Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has written to a number of Ministers regarding the import of grain from the Ukraine into ports in the Six Counties. Deputy Ferris was responding to concerns on behalf of farmers on both sides of the border regarding several aspects of this trade, and the potential affects which it may be having.

Deputy Ferris said: "It would appear that massive quantities of grain are coming into this country via Belfast and Warrenpoint from the Ukraine. This grain is being imported by meal merchants and it is being bought by farmers for use as feed. This is despite the fact that the grain is not quality assured and therefore we have no idea as to what chemicals may have been used during its production. There is also the issue that the imported grain is having a depressing effect on the prices which merchants will pay for home produced grain, while they are not passing on the lower costs to the farmers who buy it as meal. I am writing to the Ministers for Agriculture and to the Minister forTrade in relation to how these imports may be impacting on farmers on this side of the border, and in particular in relation to the quality of the grain concerned." ENDS

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