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Minister Smith attends International Green Week East West Agricultural Forum in Berlin

Mr. Brendan Smith T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food attended the East West Agricultural Forum held in Berlin in conjunction with the International Green Week on Saturday 20 January.

The Forum considered the opportunities and need for agriculture to contribute to renewable energy. EU Agricultural Commissioner Fischer Boel, German Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Seehofer and Russian Minister for Agriculture Gordejew as well as the Brazilian State Secretary Luinan led the debate, which focused on the question of agriculture's bioenergy potential and specific questions such as possible competition between demands for food and energy production. The recently announced EU's energy package was discussed with Commissioner Fischer Boel emphasising the importance of the targets proposed both from a fuel security and climate viewpoint, where bioenergy production will achieve a reduction in greenhouse gases.

Minister Smith met separately with Commissioner Fischer Boel and Minister Seehofer, who is the current president of the EU Agriculture Council. Bioenergy initiatives and issues relating to CAP simplification were discussed. The Minister also met with Bord Bia representatives in Germany and discussed prospects for increased Irish food exports.

22 January, 2007

Date Released: 22 January 2007