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Sinn Féin call for all-Ireland farm trade delegations

15 August, 2006


Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MP Conor Murphy has called on the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with its southern counterpart and the two departments responsible for Enterprise and Trade to develop a programme for agricultural producers to sell their produce on the world stage.

Mr Murphy said:

"I think that many businesses will be excited by the opportunities created by the move to facilitate joint all-Ireland trade delegations and open up the international offices to companies from across the island. Creating the space for northern companies to be part of southern trade delegation, and visa versa, can only be good news.

"It is essential that our agricultural producers are not left behind. Producers, particularly from the north, need to be in a position to capitalise on the opportunities to sell their produce on the world stage.

"Sinn Féin has consistently argued that the clean green image of Irish farm produce should be a key marketing theme. However, in the south organisations like Bord Bia, who have a strong trackrecord, do not have a fully integrated approach to selling Irish produce abroad. This fails to make the most of quality produce from this side of the border.

"There is an onus on DARD to pull the finger out and initiate a programme for agricultural producers to sell their produce on the world stage. I would like to see agricultural businesses in the north taking advantage of a joint all-Ireland approach to agricultural trade delegations.

"This would require the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to work closely with its southern counterpart and the two departments responsible for Enterprise and Trade alongside producers from across the island." ENDS

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