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Smith Meets New EU Agriculture Commissioner

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today met the new EU Agriculture Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos in Brussels.

Minister Smith described the meeting as "a very useful opportunity for me to emphasise to Commissioner Ciolos the need for a robust and properly funded Common Agriculture Policy after 2013."

"I stressed  to the Commissioner, that my objective is a properly funded CAP, based on the twin goals of competitiveness and sustainability.  I repeated our commitment to decoupled payments.  These income supports, provided by the Single Payment Scheme, are of vital importance for the continuation of sustainable farming in Ireland."

The Minister also raised the issue of market management measures, which he said "have proven to be essential in addressing price volatility.  These measures will continue to have a value in the future post 2013. The importance of EU market management was clearly seen over the past year in the dairy sector and I emphasised to the Commissioner the need to carefully manage the disposal of stocks built up during the period of market weakness.  Further evidence of their importance is shown by the fact that there is a substantive discussion on market management measures post-2013 at today's Agriculture Council Meeting."

Mr Smith said that the dairy situation needs to "be nurtured carefully and requires a stock policy that is cautious and sensitive to the vagaries of the market."

Date Released: 22 February 2010