Dáil debates

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions

Agriculture Industry

3:00 pm

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

A whole-of-Government approach is being taken to the matter and if the Deputy parses and analyses the budget in detail, he will find that is the case. I was in the UK last Tuesday and I met with the chief executive of one of the big multiples there who does in excess of €155 million worth of trade with Irish agrifood sectors. I impressed on him that Ireland is still open for business and that although these are difficult times, we are anxious to deepen and forge stronger relationships with the UK multiples in the teeth of this very difficult crisis. I appreciate the difficulties being experienced by the mushroom sector and I know of the cases in Tipperary, which the Deputy spoke of. I know that the Minister of State with responsibility for food, forestry and horticulture, Deputy Andrew Doyle, has been involved in this. The quest for new markets is relevant. The UK is the most convenient and cost effective market we have had but we have to explore new market opportunities. While different circumstances apply, our biggest competitor in the UK is Polish imports. If they can bring mushrooms - with their short shelf life - all the way from Poland, then we can also go to continental Europe. We have to be open to all options in trying to ensure this industry, at which we are very good, has a future. That is what we are about and why we have the capital grant scheme so the mushroom producer organisations can get financial support. That is why they have access to the low cost finance and why the agencies will assist them in every way to access new markets. It requires a whole-of-Government approach and that is the approach of this Government.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.