Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Food Industry

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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187. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he is taking to address the rising costs for food producers. [17042/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The agri-food sector is facing one of the most significant challenges in recent years.

I am working with our EU partners to consider and implement appropriate responses to those challenges, including ensuring that food security is maintained for EU citizens, for the Ukrainian people and in the wider global context.

At EU level, I have emphasised the importance of being ready to respond in a comprehensive and flexible manner and to maintain functioning supply chains during what will be an uncertain and volatile period ahead. I have also highlighted concerns about the availability and price of animal feed and fertilisers. The comprehensive and transparent sharing of available information is also important.

On 23rdMarch, the EU Commission announced a range of supports to safeguard food security and reinforce the resilience of EU food systems. This included a support package of €500 million to support farmers most affected; this includes an allocation of €15.8 million for Ireland. Other measures include safety net measures to support specific markets and a temporary Crisis Framework (TCF) for state aid.

On 22nd March, I announced a targeted intervention package for the tillage sector and a multi-species sward initiative, worth over €12 million, to support Irish farmers. Payments to commercial pig farmers under the Pig Exceptional Payment Scheme, with a budget of €7 million, began last week.

As well as these financial supports, I have put in place a Rapid Response Team, chaired by the Secretary General of my Department, to actively monitor the impacts on agri-food supply chains and to contribute to the whole of Government response to this crisis.

I have established the National Fodder and Food Security Committee to prepare an industry response to the emerging crisis in feed, fodder, fertiliser and other inputs, and to develop contingency plans.

My Department will continue to contribute to the whole-of-Government response to the challenges created by the crisis.

I am committed to helping our farm families and their businesses through this challenging period and I will continue to support them.


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