Deering calls on agri-businesses to back the Stability Treaty

8th May, 2012

Yes vote is good for exports, trade and CAP negotiations

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has called on agri-businesses and all those involved in our food and drink industry to back the Stability Treaty.Deputy Deering added that a Yes vote would have a positive impact on exports, trade and CAP negotiations.

“I strongly believe that a Yes vote to the Stability Treaty is vitally important for the agri-food sector, as it will deliver certainty around recovery, investment and the future of this country. Agriculture is the good news story of the Irish economy at the moment, with bumper exports and major opportunities emerging in China and other markets. If we want to continue to drive this progress, we need to ensure we remain at the core of a strong and stable economy.

“Last year agri-food and drink exports increased by 12% to nearly €9 billion. Irish food and drink companies and producers are exporting to 170 countries worldwide. I want to see us build on this positive trend even further and a stable euro and strong reputation internationally is critical to this.

“We need to think about the message we want to send to our trading partners. A Yes vote will clearly show that Ireland is committed to investment and recovery. It will show that we are serious about taking sensible budget decisions. And it will ensure we have access to the ESM, Europe’s new bailout fund, should we ever need it.

“Thanks to EU membership we have free access to half a billion consumers across Europe. Many other opportunities lie further afield; we saw from Minister Simon Coveney’s recent trip to China that there is a huge appetite for the world class product on offer in Ireland. The abolition of dairy quotas in 2015 presents a great opportunity to Irish agri-businesses. Maintaining certainty around our currency and capacity for recovery will be really important in making the most of these opportunities.

“Another serious consideration for the Irish food industry is the ongoing CAP negotiation process. Ireland is likely to be hosting the Presidency of the EU during the final stages of the discussions. We have always punched well above our weight in EU agriculture negotiations because of our ability to build alliances and win friends for our cause. As a small country with a very significant interest in the outcome of the CAP, now is the time to ensure we maintain our goodwill and influence as a strong and vocal member state during the negotiating process. This will help us deliver the best possible outcome for Irish farmers.

“The Irish Farmers Association has already backed the Stability Treaty because the organisation understands that it is in the best interests of the farming community to vote Yes to stability, investment and recovery.”