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Saturday 10 December 2016

Smith keen to implement Food Harvest 2020 proposals

Declan O'Brien

Published 21/09/2010 | 05:00

Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith chaired the first meeting of the Food Harvest 2020 implementation group last Friday
Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith chaired the first meeting of the Food Harvest 2020 implementation group last Friday

Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith has reiterated his commitment to drive the implementation of the Food Harvest 2020 report.

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Speaking at the first meeting of the Food Harvest 2020 implementation group on Friday last, Mr Smith promised a "fully joined-up and coherent" plan for the agriculture industry.

Mr Smith stressed the importance of implementing more than 200 actions identified in the report.

He pointed out that export prospects for the remainder of this year were "extremely positive" and that he was encouraged by that fact that "the value of Irish food and drink exports for the first five months of this year, at €3bn, was more than 8pc higher than the same period last year".

The strong recovery in export markets, particularly in the key dairy and beef sectors, highlighted the potential for developing and expanding exports with consequent benefits for employment, he added.

Mr Smith said the group was meeting at a good time and the challenge was to continue the momentum since the report's publication and to ensure that the growth evident in the first part of this year was built upon.

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