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Minister Smith launches financial package for poultry producers

Mr Brendan Smith T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, today announced a scheme of financial assistance for some sections of the poultry industry. The scheme is aimed at compensating producers who took steps to reduce output earlier this year when there was a significant fall-off in demand for poultry meat. Consumption levels have now returned to normal but the Minister explained that some producers experienced significant losses at the time and that the financial assistance now available would go some way towards alleviating those losses.

The types of measures that come within the scope of the programme include where hatching eggs were taken out of the system, the size of breeding flocks was reduced and where production facilities were left idle in order to decrease throughput. The costs of the scheme are being co-funded by the European Union. The scheme follows on from negotiations between Member States and the European Commission in which Ireland played a very active role.

Minister Smith said that Ireland's poultry sector was a hugely important contributor to our overall food industry, providing a top class product to consumers both in Ireland and abroad. He said he was confident that our poultry sector will continue to maintain market share in the face of competition from lower-cost countries based on the quality it can offer to consumers. He said he was very pleased that these new schemes would help to address problems which arose during a difficult period.

11 September, 2006

Date Released: 11 September 2006