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Minister of State McEntee Discusses Opportunities and Issues in Horticulture with IFA Leaders

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine discussed a range of opportunities and issues in the horticulture sector with a top-level delegation from the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA). The meeting took place this morning at the Department offices in Dublin.

The delegation included IFA General Secretary, Pat Smith, IFA Horticulture Chairman, Brian O'Reilly, IFA Fresh Produce Development Officer, Matt Molloy, as well producers of potatoes, vegetables, fruit, mushrooms and nursery stock from counties Cork, Dublin, Donegal, Meath, Laois, Tipperary and Kildare.

Among the main topics discussed were:

  • The recently published report of the Horticulture Action Group.
  • The reform of Joint Labour Committees (JLCs).
  • The need for more co-operation and EU-supported Producer Organisations in horticulture.

The Minister of State told the delegation he had supported the reform of the JLCs in order to bring wage rates in horticulture more into line with our main competitors. He was also in favour of the introduction of a statutory code of practice to ensure fair play for producers supplying the retail sector.

"I was also impressed by the Horticulture Action Group's emphasis on the urgency of promoting and facilitating more collaborative initiatives within the sector," the Minister of State said. "This accords with my own experience and views, particularly in my meetings with so many producers since I took up this job. Collaboration and co-operation between producers increases their purchasing power for inputs as well as their selling power to the big supermarket chains".

Note for Editors

Horticultural Output - 2010 Estimate

  • Protected Crops €72m
  • Mushrooms €98m
  • Field Vegetables €60m
  • Fruit (outdoor) €8m
  • Amenity/Nursery/Flower Crops €42m
  • Potatoes €84m
  • Total output €364m


Date Released: 12 July 2011