Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
451. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason no applications have been submitted to date for the establishment of beef producer organisations; the possible barriers to adoption; and the steps being taken to promote the uptake of these groups across the sector. [53649/18]
Following the establishment of the Beef Roundtable in 2014, the Dowling Report recommended that my Department consider legislating for the recognition of Producer Organisations in the beef sector. Following consultations with stakeholders, Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 49 of 2016 was signed into law, establishing the legal basis for recognition in Ireland of Producer Organisations in the beef sector.
In early January 2018, following a public procurement process, I announced the awarding of service contracts to seven different facilitators to provide advisory services to prospective Producer Organisations on their establishment and recognition as legal entities. The names and contact details of the approved facilitators can be found on my Department’s website.
My Department has also made provision under the Rural Development Programme for the funding of startup activities for beef Producer Organisations.
While producer organisations are part of the landscape in other beef-producing countries, particularly in France, the concept is novel to the Irish beef sector. However, I firmly believe that Producer Organisations could have a very positive role to play in the future development of the sector in Ireland. My Department is continuing in its efforts to drive the potential of this scheme through engagement with an array of stakeholders across different forums.