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Dairy Farming: Republic of Ireland

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the Irish Government's support for rationalisation of its dairy industry on the UK dairy industry. (142135)

The Irish Government announced a dairy processing industry investment package in 2006. Following commercial and technical evaluation of the applications, the announcement of grant awards was made in April 2007. A total of 19 capital investment projects were approved and awarded Government grant assistance of €114 million. Industry will fund an additional €172 million to generate an estimated capital spend of €286 million.

The UK Government have made no assessment of the impact on the UK dairy industry as the details of the proposals have only recently been announced. Proposals for research to assess the impact will be evaluated alongside competing proposals in line with Government's priorities. It is, of course, open to the UK dairy sector to fund its own research into the likely effects of the Irish dairy package so that it can respond appropriately.