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Ferris demands protection of Irish sugar sector

22 November, 2005

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has demanded that the Irish Government resist any further attempts to undermine the Irish sugar beet sector. Deputy Ferris was speaking ahead of today's meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers to discuss proposals to cut beet support mechanisms.

Deputy Ferris said: "We have already seen the closure of the sugar factory at Carlow and the facility at Mallow is under threat as a direct result of attempts to destroy the sugar beet sector here. It is vital that Irish sugar industry is not sacrificed as part of an international trade deal. Sugar beet is an important producer crop here, and processing has provided thousands of jobs. Apart from the traditional sugar industry, I have also proposed that beet can become one of the major energy crops if this state is to become the producer of biofuels." ENDS

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