Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Andrew Doyle TD co-chaired a meeting of the Horticulture Industry Forum with Mr. Brian O’Reilly. At the meeting Minister Doyle launched a public consultation to assist the development of a new National Strategy & Environmental Framework for Producer Organisations in the fruit and vegetable sector.
Minister Doyle said that ‘Producer Organisations have a key role to play in strengthening the bargaining position of growers with the retail sector and the National Strategy and Environmental Framework will set out the priorities through which improving the competitiveness of the fruit and vegetable sector and increasing sustainability of production can be achieved.”
The Minister encouraged all stakeholders and all those interested to respond to the public consultation by the closing date of the 26th April and look forward to future engagement towards the development of this important Strategy for Producers Organisations operating in Fruit and Vegetable sector.
The Minister also informed industry stakeholders at the Forum that two new regulations concerning the potato pest Epitrix were recently signed into law by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD.
Minister Doyle said “these regulations were necessary to introduce increased levels of national controls relating to the requirements placed on importers of potatoes, originating in Member States in which Epitrix has been detected, and to address the significant risk to the indigenous potato sector arising from a possible outbreak of Epitrix”.
Minister Doyle concluded by saying that the ‘National measures will be temporary’ and that his Department “will review the decision regularly to reflect decisions made at EU level in relation to the harmful organism and the spread of the pest”.