Dáil Éireann - Volume 622 - 27 June, 2006

Written Answers. - World Trade Negotiations.

Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when the World Trade Organisation Consultancy Group last met; the agenda at its last two meetings; when it will meet again; the persons who are the members of the group; their qualifications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24601/06]

  Mary Coughlan: The WTO Consultative Group was established to enable interested groups and organisations to review and discuss current developments in the ongoing negotiations and to offer material, advice and expertise to my Department in the process of policy formulation. The Group met last on 4 April 2006. The agenda for the last two meetings provided for a comprehensive update on the state of play in the negotiations, analysis and discussion of the implications for Ireland and the EU as well as examination and discussion of material submitted by members of the Group. A further meeting of the Group will be held in mid-July following the WTO Ministerial Meetings in Geneva from 28 June to 2 July.

The Group comprises officials of my Department and representatives of the following organisations; Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), Teagasc, Bord Bia, Irish Dairy Board, IBEC, Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), Irish Grain and Feed Association, Macra Na Feirme and two independent agricultural economists.