Simon Coveney to attend EU agriculture talks

Wednesday 16 March 2011 20.16
Simon Coveney - Will attend his first meeting of EU agriculture ministers
Simon Coveney - Will attend his first meeting of EU agriculture ministers

Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine Simon Coveney will attend his first meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers in Brussels tomorrow.

Mr Coveney is to meet Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos before the meeting and will also have separate talks with other ministers affiliated to the European People's Party.

The minister said that on CAP reform, he will be highlighting the need for a common and well-funded EU agriculture policy.

He will also be urging the commission to proceed with extreme caution in the upcoming talks about meat imports from South American countries.

Mr Coveney said he would ask the Commission for a more flexible approach towards countries who are likely to have to pay a super levy for overproduction of milk in the run up to 2015.

He said farmers here should continue to take all steps to ensure that they do not exceed their quota this year.

The meeting will consider the approval of three GMO applications, as well as a paper listing six essential principles to simplify the workings of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Mr Coveney will travel onward from Brussels on St Patrick's Day to Paris where he will meet representatives of major buyers of Irish produce in the French market.

He will also visit the Tourism Ireland trade stand at the MAP World Holiday Fair and the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris.