21 April 1998
Ireland to put £7m behind its beef in EU
IRISH agriculture minister Joe Walsh has approved a I£7 million plan to promote Irish beef in European Union (EU) markets.
Around I£4m is to be aimed specifically at Britain and will concentrate on the creation and establishment of a brandname designed to emphasise the Irish origin of the beef.
His advisers told him that, without his support, Irish farmers would find it even more difficult to sell their beef in Britain.
Walsh last week approved th final instalment of the I£1m start-up facility for the already successful private ferry operation carrying livestock from Rosslare to Cherbourg. Officials at the same time inspected a larger boat that could begin service later this spring.
His department agreed to help the establishment of a live delivery service after farmers complained about the financial effects of lost market when established operators such as P&O pulled out under pressure from animal welfare groups.
The British ministry, in contrast, is continuing to demonstrate its hostility towards live cattle shipments to other EU markets. It has also still to negotiate a bilateral agreement with France over the removal of specified risk material from British ewe carcasses in French abattoirs.
The Scottish National Farmers Union reminded the UK ministry last week farmers would have to consider setting up their own live ferry service if there was no progress.
- The Scotsman 21/04/98 page 28