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Creed meets new French Agriculture Minister in Paris Focus on Brexit and the Future of the Common Agricultural Policy

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., met his recently appointed French counterpart, Minister for Agriculture and Food Stéphane Travert, for talks in Paris this morning. Today’s discussions were primarily concerned with the two main challenges confronting the Irish and European agri-food sectors: Brexit and the future of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Speaking after the meeting, the Minister said “I am delighted to have been able to meet Minister Travert so soon after his appointment, and to avail of the opportunity to both renew the traditionally close relationship between Ireland and France on agriculture matters, and to discuss our respective priorities as we face into what will undoubtedly be a very challenging period ahead. Brexit and the future of the Common Agricultural Policy were, of course, top of the agenda. On Brexit, we had a very useful exchange on the potential implications for the agri-food sector and on the negotiation process. I conveyed to Minister Travert the critical importance to Ireland of continued unfettered access to the UK market for agri-food products.  In overall terms, I was heartened by the degree of commonality in our concerns, which I hope will continue to characterise our engagement as the negotiations unfold.”

Minister Creed added “I also had a good exchange with Minister Travert on fisheries issues including of course the recent UK announcement regarding the London Fisheries Convention and the wider potential impact of Brexit.  We were both very much in agreement that we must maintain existing access and quota sharing arrangements for our respective fleets. We will continue to work together, as well as with the Barnier Task Force and other Member States to ensure that both agriculture and fisheries issues remain a high priority in the negotiations to come.”

Continuing, the Minister said “This commonality of approach was also evident from our discussion of the CAP, which focused on the need for a strong CAP budget and for a policy that deals effectively with the many challenges facing the agri-food sector, including the need to produce more food in a sustainable manner. Again, we agreed to remain in close contact as the discussions in this area progress over the coming months.”

While in Paris, the Minister also took the opportunity to meet with Gilles Gauthier, President and Xavier Macquet, Board Member, of the FNICGV - a French organisation representing meat processors, wholesalers and distributors, some of whose more than 300 members are important purchasers of Irish beef and lamb. The Minister thanked them for their continued support and went on to explain Ireland’s concerns around Brexit as well as our priorities for the negotiations. A useful exchange of views took place on a variety of trading issues pertinent to the meat sector.

The Minister, along with Bord Bia Paris, also held a working lunch with a range of agri-food journalists. In addition to discussing Origin Green and the sustainability characteristics of Irish food, Minister Creed highlighted the actions that he and his government colleagues are taking to meet the challenges of Brexit, as well as Ireland’s priorities on the future of the CAP.

To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 140/2017 (pdf 369Kb) 

Date Released: 21 July 2017

Distribution channels: Agriculture, Farming & Forestry