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Minister Returns from Brussels Briefing – Eurocrats Welcome DAFF Agriculture Proposals 10 April 2008

Agriculture Minister Phil Gawne returned to the Island yesterday following a successful two day trip to Brussels to meet EU agricultural officials where he, and Department officer’s, relayed plans to develop a more sustainable and robust structure for Manx farming. Commenting on the trip the Minister said “I am pleased by the supportive feedback I have been given by Brussels Agricultural policy leaders who welcomed the Department’s proposals. The senior officials and politicians we met were extremely helpful in directing our attention to the various mechanisms available to us which we might employ to further ensure a self reliant, sustainable future for our farmers and food chain.”

He continued “This endorsement of the strategy developed by the Department and the Agricultural industry over the past two and a half years is great news and very timely as Tynwald prepares to consider our Agricultural policy proposals next week. Having already received the full support of the majority of our farmers I am reassured that the Departments’ proposals have been warmly received in Brussels and excited that we have identified further options to assist us in developing a sustainable future for food production in the Isle of Man.”

The Department’s proposals which will be put to Tynwald next Tuesday outline a number of broad principles which will be required in order to allow the development of a new, more sustainable structure for Manx agriculture. The broad principles have the full support of the key agricultural bodies on the Island who, along with individual farmers, have helped shape the policies which would radically restructure their industry and deliver a more robust, self reliant and sustainable Manx food chain.

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