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Coughlan Announces Membership Of Beef Forum

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, announced today the membership of the Beef Forum. It will include representatives of the IFA, ICMSA, ICSA, Macra, ICOS, ICBF, Teagasc, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, Meat Industry Ireland as well as representatives of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and an independent expert.

Minister Coughlan stated: "The purpose of the Forum is to point the way to the future development of this very important sector. The beef industry is vital to Ireland in a number of respects not least its contribution to our trade balance and its significance for rural areas. The industry has proven itself resilient in the past and I am confident that it will do so in the future. It will face many opportunities and challenges as the pace of change in the marketplace continues to increase. The industry must gear itself to evolving consumer tastes and be responsive to them. The Forum provides those involved in the industry with the opportunity to track the best way forward."

The Forum, which will be chaired by Jim Beecher, Assistant Secretary General at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, will have its first meeting later this month. The Minister thanked the representatives who had agreed to participate and wished them every success in their work. The Forum is expected to report by the Summer.

Members of the Beef Forum

Jim Beecher

Kevin Kinsella

Michael Doran

John Enright

Martin McMahon

Malcolm Thompson

Sean Scully

Mark Connors

Ray Doyle

Brian Wickham

Edward O'Riordan

Gerard Brickley
Bord Bia

Derek Breen
Enterprise Ireland

Ciaran Fitzgerald
Meat Industry Ireland

Niall Browne
Meat Industry Ireland

John Horgan
Meat Industry Ireland

Finbarr McDonnell
Meat Industry Ireland

Paddy Moore
Independent Expert

Mick Cronin
Dept. of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Ignatius Byrne
Dept. of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Séamus O'Flaherty/Brid O'Higgins

6 Febuary 2008

Date Released: 06 February 2008