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McEntee Address first meeting of New Coford Council

Addressing the first meeting of the new COFORD Council, Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry stressed the importance of Forestry Research and Development for the continued development of the sector.

Noting that the rationalisation of state agencies over the last number of years had resulted in the executive functions of the National Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD) now being undertaken within his Department, he added that “The re-appointment of the COFORD Council is recognition of the contribution the Council itself has made to the R&D process over the years and can continue to make”.

The purpose of the Council is to provide advice to the Department on the research and development needs of the forestry industry.  As part of this process, the Council will contribute to the development of a Forest Strategic Research Agenda which, in turn, will enhance and strengthen the Department’s overall research strategy and ensure that there is consistency of approach among the Department’s three competitive research funding programmes covering agriculture, food and forestry.  The Council will also continue to contribute to the development of the forest sector. The Minister of State commented, “One aspect of this development role is the identification of opportunities and information gaps which need to be addressed.  I know, for example, that the outgoing Council did a lot of work forecasting roundwood supply and demand culminating in the publication of an ‘All Ireland Roundwood Production Forecast 2011-2028’ and the related roundwood demand report.”

The Minister of State added that the composition of COFORD Council, which includes representation from State bodies, forestry grower representative groups and private forestry companies, has been one of its strengths over the years and commented that “Such unity of purpose is welcome and indeed essential if we are to work together to develop the forestry sector”.

Noting the importance of R&D, as underlined in Food Harvest 2020, Minister of State McEntee thanked the members for agreeing to service on the Council and wished the Council, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Michael Lynn, well in their endeavours.  He also thanked the outgoing Council for the work it had undertaken.

Date Released: 16 December 2011