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Coughlan announces Dairy Consultative Committee

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, today announced membership of the Dairy Consultative Committee she has established to advise her in the evaluation of policy proposals in advance of next year's CAP Health Check.

She has invited IFA, ICMSA and Macra to each nominate representatives of their respective farming organisations to participate on the committee. In addition, both ICOS and IBEC will be invited to nominate representatives of the dairy industry and the Irish Dairy Board will also participate.

The Minister was anxious also to have a consumer perspective on the committee and has asked the Consumer Association of Ireland to nominate a representative. The State agencies, An Bord Bia and Teagasc will also be participating and there will be academic input also available to the group. Jim Beecher, Assistant Secretary General, who is responsible for the livestock sector in the Department, will chair the Consultative Committee. The first meeting of the committee will take place during October and it will meet on a regular basis as progress towards the health check continues throughout 2008.

The Minister concluded by saying that "the health check will have a particular focus on dairy aspects given that the Commissioner has already intimated that the opportunity will be taken to secure a 'soft landing' towards the ending of the quota regime in 2015. I want to ensure that in the negotiating position that I will adopt, I have direct access to the broadest possible views, particularly those of the key stakeholders in the industry, to assist me in that process".

1 October 2007

Date Released: 01 October 2007