Thursday, 26 September 2019
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
I thank the Minister for his reply and I welcome his commentary regarding the diversification of the market, which is really important. In light of the ongoing debate in respect of Brexit and our over-concentration on the UK market, with, as already stated, over 50% of our beef being exported to that jurisdiction, we have to diversify. This point was echoed by the Minister. He also outlined his strategy in that regard. I particularly welcome that it is proposed to appoint an attaché with agriculture responsibility to our embassy in Seoul, Korea. That is good news. It is important that the Minister's officials get that news into the public domain. In all the debate and confusion, we sometimes we lose sight of the strategic message which the Minister elaborated today in terms of the plans to diversify and seek new markets beyond Europe. That, too, is really positive news. I thank the Minister for coming to the House and giving us that news. We need to get that message into publications and on websites, such as The Farmers' Journal, AgriLand.ie, etc., in order that people will know that new markets are being pursued. I do not doubt that this is happening but sometimes the message gets lost among the farming community. Nonetheless, I welcome the news and I thank the Minister for attending.