The difficulties facing the Irish pigmeat sector, including the effects of the Russian ban on EU exports, have been raised in the Dáil.
Brendan Smith, a former agriculture minister, asked his successor Simon Coveney what plans he has to support the sector in view of the present difficulties.
Mr Coveney said the development of the sector is a priority for him given the crucial role which the industry plays in supporting some 7,000 jobs in production, slaughter, processing, feed manufacture and services.
“Pigmeat prices tend to be cyclical in nature with periods of lower prices and production followed by recovery and this has remained the case for many years,” he said.
Mr Coveney said he was fully aware of the concerns farmers have as a result of the closure of the Russian market.
At EU level, the commission has referred this matter to the World Trade Organisation for resolution.
“I have called on the European Commission to monitor the developments on markets and where necessary, to quickly activate safety net provisions such as public interventions and/or private storage aid,” he said.
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