annual report 2011 - Department of Agriculture

agriculture.gov.ie

annual report 2011 - Department of Agriculture

annual report 2011


mission statement

Annual Report 2011

“To lead the sustainable development of the

agri-food and marine sector and to optimise

its contribution to national economic

development and the natural environment”


1


Annual Report 2011

CONTENTS Page

Review of 2011 3

Review of Key Performance Indicators in 2008-2010 Strategy Statement 4

Organisation of the Department 7

GOAL 1- Agri-Food Policy, Development and Trade

Performance Budgeting for Goal 1 10

EU Interaction 13

International Interaction 14

National Policy Framework 16

Innovation 18

Food and Drink Sector 20

Primary Production 24

● Meat 24

● Milk 27

● Crops 28

● Livestock 31

GOAL 2 – Food Safety, Animal Health and Welfare and Plant Health

Performance Budgeting for Goal 2 34

Food Safety 37

Animal Health 42

Animal Welfare 47

Plant Health 48

Laboratory Service 49

● Veterinary Laboratories 49

Agriculture Laboratories 55

GOAL 3 – Rural Economy, Marine and Environment

Performance Budgeting for Goal 3 58

Promoting Sustainable Farming 62

Climate Change 68

Bioenergy 70

Seafood 72

Fisheries Management and Conservation 73

Fishery Harbour and Infrastructural Development programme 76

GOAL 4- Effective Delivery of Schemes and Services

Performance Budgeting for Goal 4 80

Scheme Operations 83

Customer Service 85

Financial Management 89

Staff and Organisational Management 92

Developing IT Capability 95

APPENDICES

Appendix A : State Bodies 100

Appendix B : Vote 31 - 2011 103


2


Review of 2011

Annual Report 2011

The agri-food and fishing sector remained one of the star performers in assisting the growth of the

national economy in 2011 as overall this industry accounted for 25% of the rise in total export revenue.

The export figures for the sector showed that both the value and volume output of the sector continued

the upward trend shown in 2010. In 2011, agri-food exports increased by 12% and exceeded €8.85 billion

bringing the increase in value over the last two years to €1.8 billion or 25% . The strongest performing

categories were dairy and ingredients, seafood, prepared foods, meat and whiskey. The overall growth

was certainly boosted by global prices but nevertheless volume growth and improved market access

accounted for about 25% of this rise. The result was a positive, export orientated outturn for 2011.

There were also positive developments at farm level. Primary production performed strongly, with the

CSO 2011 estimate for agriculture output and income showing an overall 33.4% rise in operating surplus

over 2010 (cereals 52.5%, milk 19.8%, cattle 16.7%, pigs 16.1% and sheep 9.4%). As a consequence, average

family farm income rose to €24, 861, an increase of 32% on 2010 levels.

The strategic national policy initiatives undertaken this year included the development of the 2011-2014

Strategy Statement, the publication of the Food Harvest – Milestones for Success report and the

completion of the strategic research agendas for both primary production and the food sector. A clear

integrated policy vision is evident in these documents. Overall, they illustrate a renewed confidence in

the sector’s capacity to contribute to national economic development. They also underpin the view

that the Food Harvest 2020’s roadmap of ‘Smart, Green, Growth’ remains the best way forward for the

sustainable development of the agri-food and marine sector. In addition, these documents take into

account the national fiscal environment and underscore the need to have a strong focus on effective

actions which deliver growth.

Discussion continued in 2011 between the Department and EU bodies on the EU budgetary framework,

the broad outline and principles of the future CAP and the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The

Commission published proposal on all of these topics during 2011. These were the subject of intensive

negotiations for the remainder of the year and are not likely to conclude until 2013. At the EU Agriculture

and Fisheries Council in December, agreement was reached on TACs and quotas for 2012 which delivered

141,000 tonnes of pelagic and tuna quotas and 36,000 tonnes of whitefish at a record value of €250m.

The Department continued to operate a wide range of schemes and initiatives which are of direct benefit

to farmers and which also contributed to the development of a vibrant agricultural sector. Over €1.65

billion was paid to farmers in 2011 under the Single Payment, Disadvantaged Areas, Rural Environmental

Protection (REP) and Agri-Environment Options schemes and the vast majority of these payments were

made within the service delivery target dates. However, the current national fiscal environment and

the EU/IMF programme means that future expenditure will be constrained by the outcome of the

comprehensive expenditure review and the more limited budgetary envelope in the coming years.

Despite the continuing difficult global environment, 2011 was a successful one for policy development,

service and export performance. The continuing progress made in this year has added considerably to

the groundwork started in 2010. The outcome is a heightened awareness of the importance of the sector

and a strengthened policy makers confidence in its intrinsic value and of its ability to contribute to

national development.


3


Outcomes of the Key Performance

Indicators in the 2008-2010 Strategy

Statement

Goal 1 Our Policy and

Operational Framework

a) Impact of EU/WTO negotiations on Irish agriculture,

forestry and fisheries.

Outcomes

the same period .

EU CAP Health Check outcome resulted in benefits worth

€170million to agri-food sector including increased milk

quota, improved market supports and new EU funds to be

used at national discretion over seven years.

The value of TAC quotas over the 3-year period was

estimated at around €600m and spending of € €2.7 billion

was made on the EU Rural Development Programme over

b) Value/volume of agri-food exports.

Following a 17% increase over the 2005-2007 period, the

value of food exports fell from €8.16 billion in 2008 to €7.88

Goal 2

a) Status of Irish food and feed safety, plant health, as

indicated by verification reports of external agencies

e.g. FVO.

billion in 2010. This reflected global economic shocks such

as significant market and currency volatility, lower

commodity prices and globally reduced consumer

spending.

Independent analysis verified that the agri-food sector

contributes almost 1/3 of net foreign earnings to the Irish

economy.

c) Degree of implementation of major programmes and

policy documents.

98% of the Agri-Vision 2015 commitments, 67% of the

Programme for Government & 83% of Towards 2016

provisions were achieved.

d) Value/volume of outputs of prepared consumer foods

sector.

CSO data on the value-added sector is significantly in

arrears. Provisional 2009 data, produced mid 2011,

showed a decrease in value from €6,053m in 2008 to

€5,403 in 2009.

Outcomes

the EU FVO. This achievement was delivered through

a) Status of Irish food and feed safety, plant health, as

indicated by verification reports of external agencies e.g.

FVO.

Ireland’s status as a country with high food and plant

safety standards was verified by external agencies such as

comprehensive risk based control and monitoring

programmes. It was also assisted by the speedy proactive

actions taken to deal with food safety threats such as the

dioxin contamination incident.

Food Safety, Animal Health and

Welfare and Plant Health

b) Animal and aquaculture health status protected and

enhanced as evidenced by changes in disease

incidence.

Ireland obtained national ‘Brucellosis free’ status, bovine

TB incidence was reduced from 5.88% to 4.65%, BSE cases

fell from 23 to 2 and Ireland remained free of exotic

diseases.

c) Enhanced animal welfare standards.

The Heads of the Animal Disease and Welfare Bill were

approved and FAWAC continued its work on promoting

animal welfare including its inter-agency Early Warning

System for dealing with welfare cases.


4


Outcomes of the Key Performance

Indicators in the 2008-2010 Strategy

Statement

Goal 3

a) Participation rates in environmentally friendly and

sustainable development schemes and level of

compliance with environmental standards.

Outcomes

in 2010 were an increase of 25% on 2009 levels.

In 2010, over 48,000 farmers participated in the Rural

Environmental Protection scheme while over 9,000 were

involved in the new Agri-Environment Options scheme.

Over 2,000 environmental cross- compliance inspections

are carried out annually and penalties imposed, where

appropriate. The level of land farmed organically increased

by 18% over the 3-year period while forestry planting levels

b) Outcome of EU Rural Development Programme on the

overall sector as verified by EU acceptance of DAFF’s

annual progress reports

To date, EU approval has been received for Ireland’s annual

report, its controls report and progress reports on the rural

development programme. Also the mid-term evaluation

was completed and submitted to EU Commission at the

end of 2010.

Goal 4

Outcomes

d) Progress on regulatory and other simplification

measures.

a) Degree to which commitments in the Customer Service

Charter are achieved.

Customer service targets were met in 97% of SPS claims

payments, 95% of DAS payments and between 90-100% in

other schemes.

b) Improved satisfaction rates for clients as verified by

annual surveys or other monitoring arrangements.

Following extensive customer surveys, the intranet and

public website developments were completed, went live

and were well received. An internal customer panel was

established and a survey conducted to improve

satisfaction levels.

Promoting Sustainable

Agriculture and Fishing

c) Improved contribution of the seafood sector to the

overall economy.

The estimated value of the overall seafood sector has

varied from €780m in 2008 to €713m in 2010, again

reflecting the challenging global economy.

d) Number of farm, forestry and marine enterprises and

their income levels.

Average farm incomes increased from €16, 993 in 2008 to

€17, 771 in 2010 while average full-time farm incomes

increased from €37, 950 to €41, 624 over the same period.

Average farm size also increased from 32.3 hectares to 32.7

hectares over the same period. Comparable official data is

not available for forestry and marine enterprises.

Improving Customer Service

and Scheme Operations

SPS payments were simplified by changes to modulation

refunds, tillage set-aside, cross-compliance threshold and

National Reserve entitlements and usage. There was also

increased availability of pre-filled application forms and

usage of online facilities rose with 59% of customers

signing up for online services.


5


Outcomes of the Key Performance

Indicators in the 2008-2010 Strategy

Statement

Goal 5

a) Verification by the Civil Service Performance

Verification Group (CSPVG) of satisfactory achievement

of the actions in the Department’s modernisation

Action Plan.

The CSPVG consistently reported that very good progress

had been made on the implementation of the Action Plan

and considered that the Department had been proactive

in progressing the modernisation agenda.

b) Maintenance of high standard of financial

management and controls as verified by external

monitoring agencies.

Following certification by the external auditors of the EAGF

and EAFRD accounts with no major or immediate findings,

the Commission approved these accounts. Also Ireland

continued to remain in the bottom quartile of Member

States in terms of EU disallowances.

Enhancing our Human,

Financial and Operational

Resources

c) Improved capability and governance through staff

development, effective use of technology and

implementation of the agreed outcomes of

internal/eternal reviews.

Improved capability was achieved through effective

reorientation of staff and processes to changing business

requirements. This involved rationalisation of

headquarters and local office structures and a reduction of

staffing levels from 4,800 in 2005 to 3,632 at the end of

2010. An increased proportion of business processes was

underpinned by ICT applications and agreed outcomes of

current internal and external corporate reviews were

implemented.

d ) Contribution to the cross-sectoral governance agenda,

e.g., Decentralisation, MIF, National Disability

Strategy, etc.

The Department’s active engagement with cross-sectoral

measures on economic , financial and environmental

measures is exemplified by its involvement with the

Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery, inter-agency

collaboration on Food Harvest 2020, participation in the

Estimates pilot performance budgeting project and

Outcomes

involvement in climate change and shared services

negotiations.


6


Organisation of the Department

At 31 December 2011, the Department employed a total of 3,525 full-time equivalents staff

The senior management team, is the Management Advisory Committee (MAC), headed by Mr. Tom Moran, Secretary

General, seven Assistant Secretaries Generals/Director, the Chief Veterinary Officer, the Chief Inspector and the Director

of Laboratory Services. Their responsibilities are as follows

Organisation Chart- December 2011

MAC Deputy Function Head of Division

Martin Heraghty

Livestock Products, Food

Aidan O’Driscoll

International, Economics,

Rural Development

and Sustainability

Philip Carroll

Animal Health & Welfare

Human Resources

Management Services

Corporate Affairs

Mick Bunyan

Information Management

& Technology

Meat & Milk Policy Brendan Gleeson

Milk, Meat Hygiene Tom Loftus

& Animal By-Products

Dairy Controls and Certification Nicholas Finnerty

Food Industry Development Marian Byrne

Rural Development Patricia Cannon

EU Policy and Trade Brid Cannon

Embassies

Brussels, Dermot Ryan

London, Paris, Rome, Berlin,

Geneva, Madrid, Warsaw,

Washington

Economics, Planning Ann Derwin

& Development Aid

Climate Change and Bio Paul McKiernan

Energy Policy

ERAD, Veterinary Medicines, Richard Healy

DVO Operations

Animal Health and Welfare Dermot Murphy

Animal Health and Welfare Stephen Fitzpatrick

National Beef Assurance Scheme Martin Farrell

Management Service Breffini Carpenter

Accommodation, ISO and Danny Carroll

Health & Safety

Human Resources Bert O’Reilly

Corporate Affairs, FOI Paul Dillon

Food Safety Liaison, Teagasc,

State Bodies Co-ordination

IT- Payments Systems (IACS) Sean Keevey

IT- Infrastructure and Operations Robert Butler

IT- Customer, Financial, Online & Joe Hanly

Fisheries

IT- Animal Health Systems Vacancy


7


MAC Deputy Function Head of Division

Tony Burke

Finance, Accounts,

Audit, Legal,

Agri-environment

(incl. REPS)

Kevin Smyth

Direct Payments inc.

Suckler Cow

Forestry,

Market Supports

Cecil Beamish

Fisheries

Dave Beehan Dermot A Ryan

Chief Inspector Deputy Chief Inspector

Martin Blake

Chief Veterinary Officer

Vacancy

Head of Agriculture

Laboratories

Dan O’Sullivan

Director of Laboratories Donal Sammin

Head of Veterinary

Agriculture

Laboratories

Finance Herber McMahon

Accounts Geraldine Mullen

Internal Audit Tom Medlycott

Legal Services Randall Plunkett

Agriculture Structures Gordon Conroy-

Agriculture Environment Liam Fahey

and Structures

Single Payment & Suckler Cow Paud Evans

Disadvantaged Areas Andy McGarrigle

Direct Payment Inspection Al Grogan

Controls

Market Supports & OFI Gordon Conroy

Forest Service Inspectorate Seamus Dunne

Forest Service Bridgeena Nolan

Seafood Policy & Development Josephine Kelly

Sea Fisheries Administration Paschal Hayes

Coastal Zone Management John Quinlan

Marine Engineering Gerard Farrell

Livestock Breeding, Production Gerry Greally

& Trade

Pesticide Evaluation & Controls Dermot Sheridan

Feedingstuffs, Fertilisers, Liam Hyde

Grain and Poultry

Crop Evaluation and Certification Donal Coleman

Horticulture & Plant Health Gabriel Roe

Research & Codex Richard Howell

Nitrates, Biodiversity and Engineering. Bill Callanan

Crop Policy, Production & Safety Kevin Cassidy

Northern Area Management Team Vacancy

Michael Sheridan Southern Area Management Team Vacancy

Veterinary Service Audit Unit Pat Flanagan

Vacancy ERAD – Brucellosis, Animal Welfare Garry O’Hagan

ERAD – TB Eradication, Margaret Good

Animal Identification

Deputy Chief Veterinary Public Health Paula Barry Walsh

Veterinary Officers Inspection Service (VPHIS)

(Beef, Sheepmeat, Dairy, NBAS,

Labelling and Traceability)

Veterinary Public Health Dave Nolan

Inspection Service (VPHIS)

(Pigmeat, Poultrymeat, Petfood

and Zoonoses)

International Trade, Class A Billy McAteer

Contingency,

Class B Diseases, TSE & Animal John Griffin

By-Products

Veterinary Medicines and SIU Pat Brangan

Plant Health, Pesticides and Seed Michael Hickey

Testing Laboratories

Dairy Sciences Laboratories Nicholas Finnerty

Veterinary Public Health Vacancy

Regulatory Laboratory

Regional Veterinary Laboratories Micheal Casey

Bacteriology/Parasitology John Egan

Pathology Paul Collery

Virology Pat Lenihan


8


goal one

GOAL 1

Agri-Food Policy,

Development and Trade

Annual Report 2011

Performance budgeting for Goal 1

EU Interaction

International Interaction

National Policy Framework

Innovation

Food Sector

Primary Production


9


goal one

Annual Report 2011

Performance budgeting for Goal 1

A - AGRI-FOOD POLICY, DEVELOPMENT AND TRADE

High Level Goal: “To progress, in collaboration with State Bodies, the further development of the agri-food

sector including the Food Harvest 2020 targets”.

Inputs - Financial & Human Resources

2010 Provisional Outturn 2011 Estimate

Current Capital Total Current Capital Total

€000 €000 €000 €000 €000 €000

A.1 - ADMINISTRATION - PAY 15,568 - 15,568 15,085 15,085

A.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON-PAY 3,402 75 3,477 4,233 93 4,326

A.3 - RESEARCH AND TRAINING 35,455 35,455 35,695 - 35,695

A.4 - DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD 1,589 24,257 25,846 7,000 37,500 44,500

A.5 TEAGASC - GRANT-IN-AID FOR GENERAL EXPENSES 114,165 - 114,165 120,156 - 120,156

A.6 - AN BORD BIA - GRANT-IN-AID FOR GENERAL EXPENSES 28,491 - 28,491 28,392 - 28,392

A.7 - MARINE INSTITUTE (GRANT-IN-AID) 15,228 8,999 24,227 14,852 9,348 24,200

A.8 - BORD IASCAIGH MHARA (GRANT-IN-AID) 13,001 4,424 17,425 12,604 4,134 16,738

A.9 - FOOD AID DONATIONS - WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME 9,960 - 9,960 9,960 - 9,960

A.10 - OTHER SERVICES 16,382 - 1 6,382 27,301 - 27,301

A.11 - HORSE AND GREYHOUND RACING FUND 53,264 6,000 59,264 51,290 6,000 57,290

Programme Total:- 306,505 43,755 350,260 326,568 57,075 383,643

of which pay 96,254 91,702

Staff Numbers 2010 2011

DAFM 290 288

Teagasc 1296 1173

Bord Bia 104 91

Marine Institute 192 163

Bord Iascaigh Mhara 125 108


10


goal one Key Outputs

Public Service Activity:

Participating in policy negotiations

and developments at national, EU

and international levels, to support

agri-food, fisheries and

forestry competitiveness and

development.

Developing and implementing

strategic policy proposals for the

agriculture, food, forestry, and

fisheries industry

Oversight of relevant State Bodies

Coordinating research activities and

aligning research with strategic

priorities for the sector's

development

2010 outputs

● Commission Communication on CAP

post 2013 broadly reflects input from

Irish policy position

● In excess of 100 meetings/briefings at

ministerial and senior official level

with MEPs, other MS, Commission

and the Consultative Committee, to

improve appreciation of the Irish

position on future CAP funding and

policy

● Secured €223m quota for 2011 as part

of the Total Allowable Catches &

Quota Regulations

● Significant body of analysis and

consultation completed on various

policy scenarios, particularly on CAP

post 2013.

● Food Harvest 2020 (FH2020), the

food, agriculture, forestry and

fisheries strategy for the coming

decade published

● Implementation of FH2020

progressed including: > Establishment

of High Level Implementation

Committee (HLIC) chaired by Minister,

> Industry activation groups on dairy

and horticulture recommendations

> HLIC work on "brand ireland"

commenced.

● Effective oversight of State Bodies as

verified by their Annual Reports and

Statements

● At end 2010, issued new Research

Call valued at €10m targeted at FH

2020 priorities

● Engaged in colloborative research

activities at EU (FP7, EU Joint

Programming Initiatives) and

international (Global Research

Alliance) level

2011 output targets

● Continued analysis, negotiations and

engagement on CAP post 2013 with

focus on Council Conclusion on

Communication (March) and

examination of legislative proposals

(late 20111).

● Participate in all relevant CFP

negotiations in order to secure the

best possible outcome for the Irish

fisheries sector.

● Continued analysis, negotiations and

engagement on WTO and other

international agreements and FTAs

including Mercosur.

● Continue implementation of FH 2020

including: > initial focus on

competitiveness, innovation and

upskilling, > establishment of Beef

industry Activation Group, >

structured engagement of HLIC with

industry representatives

● Development of sustainability/SEA

framework.

● High Level Implementation

Committee first progress report in

July

● Effective oversight of State Bodies, in

line with corporate governance

requirements and national &

sectoral strategy, as verified by their

Annual Reports and Statements of

Assurance

● Evaluate applications under 2010

Research Call and issue awards

● Continue monitoring progress on 218

existing projects under FIRM, RSF &

COFORD research programmes

● Establish Agri-Research Advisory

Group


11


goal one

1

2

3

4

5

Value of agriculture,

food and fish exports

% change in value of

primary output of

agriculture

% change in value added

of agri-food, fisheries

and wood products

% of recommendations

on strategic policy

initiatives implemented

Progress made on

achieving by 2020 the

sectoral targets in

FH 2020, i.e

2008

€8,086m

2008

€5,789

(+1.5%),

2007

€11,222

(3.3%)

98%

(Agri-Vision 2015)

Context and

Impact indicators

• Increase exports by

(baseline €7,969m)

€4, 712

(-18.6%)

2008

€11,567

(3.0%)

• increase the value added of

food, fisheries and wood products

by (baseline €7,897m)

40%

2009

€7,075m

98%

(Agri-Vision 2015)

42%

• increase value of primary output

of agriculture, fisheries and

forestry by 33%

(baseline €4,526m)

2010

€€7,882

(prov. Estimates)

€5,479

(16.2%)

2009-2010

data not

available

FH 2020

available

in 2011

Data

available in

2011 and

following


12


Minister Coveney with

Dacian Ciolos, EU

Commissioner for

Agriculture and Rural

Development,

EU and International Interactions

EU NEGOTIATIONS

Three key developments in 2011 dominated EU agriculture and fisheries policy discussions. In June, the

European Commission published its proposals on the EU budgetary framework for the period 2014-2020.

This was followed in July, by its proposals on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) while in

October the commission presented its proposals on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

During 2011, the Commission also published a Green Paper on promotion measures and information

provision for agricultural products. Following a public consultation process on these measures, Council

conclusions were adopted in December. It is expected that legislative proposals will be published during

2012.

EU Budget Review

More than 85% of the total EU funds received by Ireland come from the CAP, which itself accounts for

about 40% of the EU budget. The EU budgetary review process is therefore of critical importance for

Ireland, and is inextricably linked to the debate on the re-orientation of the CAP post-2013. Against this

background, Ireland’s key priority is to secure the maximum possible funding from the EU budget to

ensure a strong and well-resourced CAP.

The Commission’s proposals on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2014-2020

were published on 29 June 2011. It proposed maintaining agriculture funding at 2013 levels in nominal

terms. From Ireland’s point of view this represents a reasonable starting point in the negotiations, given

the extremely difficult budgetary circumstances and the pressure from some Member States for further

cuts. However, pressures for further reductions in the CAP budget remain, and these will continue to be

resisted.

CAP post-2013

Annual Report 2011

On 12 October, the Commission published its legal proposals for the CAP post-2013. The proposals

covered four main aspects of the CAP:

● direct payments,

● common organisation of the markets,

● support for rural development, and

● financing, management and monitoring arrangements.

A series of EU Council Working Groups was established to conduct technical examinations of the

proposals. In addition, a number of policy debates were held by EU Agriculture Ministers on key

elements of the proposals. It is expected that discussions on the CAP reform package will continue at

technical and political levels into 2012 and beyond.

The key issues for Ireland in the CAP reform process are:

● sufficient funding for a strong CAP - the priority is to secure adequate funding from the EU budget

to maintain a strong and well-resourced CAP;

● distribution of funds between Member States - the priority is to ensure that Ireland’s allocation of

funding for both direct payments and rural development is maintained at current levels,


13


goal one

● distribution of direct payments within Member States - the priority is to obtain the flexibility to allow

Ireland to tailor the payment model for Direct Payments to our needs;

● ensuring rural development policy supports competitiveness and sustainability - the priority is to

maintain support for on-farm investment and to assist the structural adjustment necessary to improve

competitiveness as the Food Harvest 2020 strategy is implemented, and

● simplification - CAP processes must be kept as simple and as effective as possible.

CFP Reform

On 13 July, the Commission published its legal proposals for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common

Organisation of Markets for Fisheries & Aquaculture Products. These proposals are based on the three general objectives

of environmental, economic and social sustainability and set out a range of proposed reforms. The principal issues include

● a ban on discarding catches of commercial fish stocks,

● mandatory introduction of Transferrable Fishing Concessions across the EU

● achieving sustainable fish stocks by 2015,

● improved environmental compliance through restrictions on financial aid for those breaching regulations,

A major concern for Ireland is the proposed mandatory introduction of an Individual Transferable Concession Quota

system (ITQ) for the management of fish stocks within each Member State. The Irish fishing fleet is, for the most part,

made up of family owned vessels with strong links to their home ports and the proposal, as it currently stands, would lead

to the purchase of fishing opportunities by large European fishing conglomerates resulting in a loss of fishing activity to

Irish coastal communities. Ireland is very concerned that any safeguards introduced to seek to maintain the economic

link between quotas and Member States would not be robust enough to withstand legal challenge, taking into account

the provisions of the EU Treaty and the Irish Constitution. Since the proposal was published, the Minister has held

discussions with Commissioner Damanaki and with other Ministers on issues of common interest.

The Department launched a Regulatory Impact Assessment process in the Autumn involving a full consultation with all

stakeholders. This process will inform Ireland’s position on the reform proposals.

EU Interaction

There was active engagement during 2011 at Ministerial and official level with key partners in other Member States, the

EU Commission and the European Parliament. Meetings were held at Ministerial level (with EU Commission, France,

Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland and UK) and at official level (with Commission, Council Secretariat, European Parliament

and other Member States) to press Ireland’s position on CAP reform and other related issues. This was in addition to the

ongoing attendance at formal and informal meetings of EU Council of Ministers and preparatory bodies. Regular oral

briefings were also provided to MEPs on major policy dossiers.

North/South co-operation

As well as three North South Ministerial Council Plenary meetings, there were two NSMC Agriculture sectoral meetings

held during 2011. During these sectoral meetings the NSMC noted developments on the CAP reform process, welcomed

the progress report on the delivery of the 2010/2011 action plan under the All-Island Animal Health and Welfare Strategy

and the 2011/2012 plan. It also approved the work programme for plant health and pesticides and welcomed the ongoing

cooperation in dealing with the significant challenges posed by outbreaks of phytophtora ramorum in Japanese larch

forests in both jurisdictions.

International Interactions

WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION (WTO) NEGOTIATIONS

Annual Report 2011

Despite efforts in 2011 to achieve an outcome in the WTO Negotiations, the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference, held in

Geneva on 15-17 December 2011 did not, as expected, provide any significant breakthroughs on the Doha Development

Agenda (DDA) or on the way forward for the negotiations. 2012 will see continued efforts to provide momentum for an

overall agreement, however, difficulties are likely to continue to exist in achieving agreement between members.


14


goal one

EU- MERCOSUR NEGOTIATIONS

In 2011, negotiations continued on a possible trade agreement between the EU and MERCOSUR (Brazil,

Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay). However, the political situation in some MERCOSUR countries and

the current financial crisis impacted on the momentum behind these negotiations.

Ireland continues to have strong reservations about the economic losses that could accrue to our

agricultural sector, should an agreement be reached. Our principal concern is with the impact of

additional import quotas on the EU market and the effect that this could have on the Irish beef sector

as Ireland exports most of its beef to European countries. Commission analysis has identified significant

losses to the Irish beef sector should an agreement be reached. Ireland has been very active in

highlighting its concerns and in pursuing the issue of mitigating measures in relation to the beef sector

with the Commission and with the Commissioners.

FOOD SECURITY

Food Aid Committee

The 1999 Food Aid Convention (FAC) is the main international agreement on

the provision of food aid. It works both as a code of conduct regarding best

practice, and as a commitment to provide a certain minimum level of food aid

annually. Ireland’s national position has been to focus on the provision of cash

for the delivery of humanitarian untied food aid and, where possible, using the

cash to purchase surplus food from within the affected region. This is in line

with best international practice as recognised by the OECD. Since July 2009,

efforts have been ongoing to re-negotiate a new FAC with an emphasis on

Food Assistance rather than Food Aid and the new Convention was agreed in

July 2011. This FAC will be open for ratification by Countries in 2012.

UN- World Food Programme (WFP)

During 2011 the Department continued its support for the vital work of the United Nations World Food

Programme (WFP) with a total contribution of €9.96 million. This was Ireland’s core multilateral funding

as part of our overall support to WFP. Ireland, with DAFM as the lead Department, was also a member

of the Executive Board of the WFP in 2011 and contributed to its strategic work throughout the year.

UN- Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Annual Report 2011

The Department ensured that Ireland’s position on agricultural and development matters was well

represented at various Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) meetings throughout the year. During

2011, FAO continued its work on the ongoing process of reform of FAO’s work and processes. A new

Director-General was appointed towards the end of the year. In October the second meeting of the

reformed FAO Committee on Food Security (CFS) was held. The CFS, which is the main global forum for

discussion and policy coherence on food security issues, has now been expanded to include

representation from all stakeholders including civil society representatives. The voluntary guidelines

for land tenure involved difficult negotiations and were not concluded by the end of the year. A High

Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) was set up to provide independent scientific advice, assessment and

analysis to CFS Members on the current state of food security and nutrition. Their first publications were

“Land tenure and international investments in agriculture” [1] and “Price Volatility and Food Security” [2] .

Ireland made a contribution of €100,000 to the work of the HLPE.

In addition to paying Ireland’s subscription of some €1.6 million to FAO, extra budgetary funding of €0.66m

was provided to the One Health Project. This project supports FAO’s contribution to One Health by improving

and integrating data collection across the One Health pillars of food safety, animal health, human health and

environmental health. €132,500 was given to the FAO in relation to their work in the Horn of Africa crisis. A

further donation of €95,000 was made to support the FAO’s activities in shock modelling.

[1] http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/hlpe/hlpe_documents/HLPE-Land-tenure-and-international-investments-in-agriculture-2011.pdf

[2] http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/hlpe/hlpe_documents/HLPE-price-volatility-and-food-security-report-July-2011.pdf


15


NATIONAL

POLICY

FRAMEWORK

Food Harvest 2020 (FH2020) and Milestones for Success

The implementation of the Food Harvest 2020 report through the High Level Implementation Committee

(HLIC) was of strategic importance. The HLIC, chaired at ministerial level, met five times in 2011 and produced

“Milestones for Success” its first progress report, in July 2011. This gave a good insight into the progress

achieved in the first year. It included the following chart to illustrate overall progress on the 215

recommendations in FH2020 and a web link which gave detailed actions undertaken on every

recommendation.

The Milestones for Success report itemised over 50 specific actions which had been achieved in the first

year. It also specified in excess of 40 targets for 2012 as well as setting interim 2013 milestones on primary

output (+ €300m in value), value added (+€500m in value), exports (reach €9bn) and seafood (+€50m). A solid

indication of the progress achieved is illustrated by the 2011 CSO estimates, which showed that Irish agri-food

exports increased by 12% to exceed €8.85 billion.

Budgetary Measures

E. Action not yet

commenced / at

commencement

stage

D. Action commenced

and progressing

A number of new taxation measures were introduced in the Finance Bill, these included:

● A new stock relief incentive to encourage Farm Partnerships

● A reduction of stamp duty rate on agricultural land from 6% to 2%

● Restructuring of the retirement relief available on Capital Gains Tax in order to incentivise the earlier

transfer of farm assets to the next generation, and to encourage the sale of land by those farmers

with no successors

● Despite the general increase in Capital Acquisitions Tax, no change was made to the very important 90%

agricultural relief.

Statement of Strategy 2011-2014

8%

64%

A. Target

Achieved

B. Substancial

action undertaken

and ongoing

C. Budget

issue for

clarifcation

The Department’s seventh Statement of Strategy for the 2011-2014 period was approved by Minister Coveney

in 2011 but its circulation was delayed pending the outcome of the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure.

It developed a new Mission Statement which gave greater recognition to the role of the agri-food and fishing

sector in national economic development. It elaborated how the Department intended to fulfill its mission

through 4 major goals, 43 strategic actions and a wide range of performance indicators which are aligned

with the parameters set by the EU/IMF programme, the national medium term fiscal statement and the

public sector reform programme.

1%

26%

1%


16


goal one

Legislation

Annual Report 2011

In 2011, the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill was enacted and commenced. Also, over 55 Statutory Instruments

were made providing legislation to underpin the Department’s activities in almost all sectors within its remit.

Full information is available on the Department’s website under the heading “Legislation”.

Statistical and Analytical Reports

● Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture and Food 2010/2011.

This contained a broad range of analysis and commentary relating to the performance of farm income and

the agri-food sector in 2011.

● Fact Sheet on Irish Agriculture.

This was reviewed, up-dated and disseminated widely in 2011

● Farm Partnerships Reference Paper

The paper sets out the rationale for partnership, as well as the benefits arising for farmers themselves

and for the sector as a whole.

● Stimulating Sustainable Agricultural Production through Research & innovation (SSAPRI)

A research agenda to guide public investment in primary agricultural research in Ireland

● Food Research Ireland

Analysis and prioritisation by an industry-led stakeholder group of the food research agenda to 2020

Aggregate Farm Income

Table 1.1 Overview of 2011 Agricultural Output

2010 2011 % Change

2010/2011

Value €m

Goods Output at Producer Prices (Euro Million) 5,328.7 6,241.9 +17.1%

Contract Work (Euro Million) 277.7 280.7 +1.1%

Subsidies less Taxes on Products (Euro Million) 15.8 14.4 -8.9%

Agricultural Output at Basic Prices (Euro Million) 5,622.1 6,537.0 +16.3%

Intermediate Consumption (Euro Million) 4,254.6 4,755.1 +11.8%

Gross Value Added at Basic Prices (Euro Million) 1,367.6 1,781.9 +30.3%

Fixed Capital Consumption (Euro Million) 742.5 730.9 -1.6%

Net Value Added at Basic Prices (Euro Million) 625.1 1,051.0 +68.1%

Other Subsidies Less Taxes on Production (Euro Million) 1,658.0 1,841.1 +11.0%

Factor Income (Euro Million) 2,283.1 2,892.1 +26.7%

Compensation of Employees (Euro Million) 424.0 429.6 +1.3%

Operating Surplus (Euro Million) 1,859.1 2,462.5 +32.5%

CSO - Output, Input & Income in Agriculture Preliminary Estimates 2011

Primary production performed strongly in 2011 with the CSO 2011 estimate for agriculture output and income

showing an overall 32.5% rise in operating surplus over 2010 (cereals-52.5%, milk 19.8%, cattle 16.7%, pigs 16.1%

and sheep 9.4%).


17


INNOVATION

Research Calls 2010 and 2011

In recognition of the importance of research to the delivery of the Food Harvest 2020 growth targets for

the agri-food and forestry sectors, a Call for Research Proposals was launched in October 2010 under

the three public good research programmes, the Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM), the

Competitive Forest Research & Development Programme (COFORD), the Research Stimulus Fund (RSF)

as well as a new joint RSF/FIRM Initiative. Awards totalling over €9.6m were made in late 2011 on 23

collaborative research projects, encompassing 13 FIRM, 3 joint RSF/FIRM, 1 RSF and 6 COFORD projects.

These awards support existing research capacity and capability, encourage collaborative research

networks while their outputs will benefit producers, processors and the wider rural community.

On 22nd December, DAFM launched a further Call for Research Proposals covering all 3 competitive

research funding programmes with an application deadline of 7th March 2012.

Strategic Research Agendas for the Agri-Food sector

The work of the two industry-led groups (Food Research Expert Advisory Group and AgriResearch Expert

Advisory Group) culminated in Strategic Research Agendas (SRA’s) for both food and primary agricultural

production. The two SRAs were launched on 12th December; ‘Food Research Ireland’ – meeting the

needs of Ireland’s food sector through research and innovation’ and ‘Stimulating Sustainable

Agricultural Production through Research and Innovation (SSAPRI)’. A number of key investment areas

have been set out in both documents which will help guide the content of future research Calls by the

Department and other funders.

Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM)

Significant work on projects funded under previous Calls continued, including monitoring the ongoing

95 projects using assessments and on-site inspections, with a total spend of €14.946m in 2011. FIRM,

through the RELAY project, disseminated the outputs of the research to stakeholders including industry,

academia and state agencies.

Work on the European Joint Programme Initiative (JPI) “A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life” progressed

during 2011. The Department was actively involved in ensuring that the activities of the JPI were cognisant

of the research expertise of Irish research organisations particularly in the areas of foods for health and

functional food. DAFM is Vice-Chair of the JPI Management Board at the European level while a

Department representative chairs the Irish National Steering Group for the JPI.


18


goal one

Research Stimulus Fund (RSF)

During 2011, routine monitoring of 60 ongoing projects continued.

DAFM leads Ireland’s representation on the governing boards of both the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on

Agriculture, Food Security & Climate Change’ and the New Zealand led Global Research Alliance on Agricultural

Greenhouse Gases. At meetings during the year, it sought to align the emerging agenda under these

international initiatives with Irish research strengths and needs. In 2011, the Department also committed

funding of €450,000 over three years for Irish based researchers to participate in the EMIDA ERA-Net Call which

mainly focuses on animal health related research.

Programme of Competitive Forest Research for Development (COFORD)

Work continued throughout 2011 on monitoring existing COFORD projects in three thematic areas - establishing

and growing forests, harvesting and products, and policy and public good.

DAFM continued its involvement in the WoodWisdom II ERA-NET by participating in the 3rd research Call of this

transnational funding programme in the field of wood material science and engineering. Following the

completion of the evaluation process DAFM made awards amounting to €300,000 to two Irish partners who

were part of successful consortia under the 3rd call.

EU 7th Framework for Research & Technological Development (FP7)

The European 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development is the EU’s vehicle for

research funding. DAFM continued to provide the National Delegate and National Contact Point for the Theme

Area 2 concerning Food, Agriculture & Fisheries, and Biotechnology (FAFB).

Irish researchers have been extremely successful to date in the FAFB Thematic Area having made 281

applications of which 63 were successful and awarded funding. Since the beginning of FP7 in 2007, the total

funding awarded to Irish researchers under the FAFB Area is €20.3m which equates to 1.8% of the available

budget. In 2011, under Call 5, Irish researchers were awarded funding of €6.12m. Interest and activity was

maintained in Call 6, the results of which will be expected in Q1 2012. Irish researchers are also leveraging funding

from other FP7 Programmes such as the Capacities and Infrastrucutures Programmes.

The importance of international collaboration in developing a knowledge economy cannot be overstated and

these activities develop Ireland’s reputation for research excellence, as espoused in the Strategy for Science

Technology and Innovation.

Codex Alimentarius

Annual Report 2011

DAFM acts as the Codex Contact Point for Ireland and, during 2011, coordinated Irish attendance at 6 Codex

Alimentarius Sessions and 15 EU Council preparatory meetings on Codex to ensure that Codex took due account

of our particular needs.


19


FOOD & DRINK SECTOR

Overview

Minister Coveney and Aidan Cotter, CEO Bord Bia with selection of Irish food and drink

The weaker than anticipated recovery in the United States and the worsening of the crisis in the euro

zone resulted in a weakening of consumer and business confidence across most advanced economies.

Despite this, Irish food and drink exports recorded a value increase of 12% or €1billion in 2011, reaching an

all time high of €8.85 billion. The food and drink sector accounted for 25% of the rise in total export

revenue in 2011. Over the last two years, the value of Irish food and drink exports has increased by €1.8

billion or 25%.

Food Dude Programme/ EU School Fruit Scheme

The very successful Food Dude Programme continued in 390 primary schools in 2011 with over 61,000

children participating in the programme. This inter-departmental collaborative programme is operated

by Bord Bia and funded by this Department (€2.5m) with a €0.5 m rebate provided under the EU School

Fruit Scheme. The Food Dude Programme has increased fruit and vegetable consumption through

repeat tasting of fruit and vegetables over a 16 day intervention period, small rewards and role models

(Food Dudes heroes).

Quality Assurance Schemes

Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes (QAS) for beef, lamb, pigmeat, poultry, eggs and horticultural

produce promote high standards at producer and processor levels. The Schemes are independently

verified and accredited to the Irish National Accreditation Board.


20


goal one

In 2011, as part of a Food Harvest 2020 ‘green’ initiative, the Bord Bia QAS secured PAS 2050 (Publicly Assured Systems)

accreditation for its beef carbon footprint model. This was a collaborative venture involving the UK Carbon Trust,

Teagasc scientific research and Bord Bia’s own work with producers and other stakeholders. This formed the basis for

a Sustainability Programme for members of the Bord Bia Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme. The aim of this

programme is to benchmark, monitor and improve the environmental performance of Irish beef production and it is

the first quality assurance programme of its kind globally to track environmental criteria in parallel with regular quality

assurance monitoring. Over 17,000 farms , around 54% of the relevant QAS membership have had their carbon footprint

assessment.

Over the coming 12 months, the programme will be extended to incorporate the beef processing sector and also to

create on-farm carbon footprinting programmes for dairy, other meats, grain and horticulture. There is increasing

evidence that the BLQAS, including the sustainability programme is having a positive impact in securing business for

Irish beef processors.

Artisan, Local and Speciality Food

In 2011, the promotion of artisan, local and speciality food was advanced through the Farmers Markets’ Good Practice

Standard and with a launch of a series of Irish Regional Food Showcases.

There are approximately 130 farmers markets throughout the country and to improve standards and quality, the

Department and Board Bia operate a Farmers Markets’ Good Practice Standard. By the end of the year 37 farmers

markets had achieved the Good Practice Standard which means that they undertook to regularly hold markets, to

source a substantial proportion, (ideally 50%) of produce locally and to comply with food safety/labelling rules and

criteria on good governance. A banner displaying the logo is awarded to successful markets.

A series of Regional Food Showcases was launched by the Department and Bord Bia in mid 2011, in conjunction with

Enterprise Ireland, County Enterprise Boards, Teagasc and Leader. These business to business (B2B) events stimulate

awareness and generate demand for local food and to support a cross section of small and medium food producers.

For each regional event, an accompanying directory is produced which matches local producers and suppliers in that

region. The inaugural event in June was targeted at the south-east region, with a follow up showcase in Limerick in

October targeted at the mid-west Region.

Drink Sector

Minister Coveney enjoying South-East Food Showcase

The drinks industry is export led with successful global brands sold in over 100 countries worldwide. In 2011, Bord Bia

reported a 5.9% increase in exports to €1.22 billion. The top five destinations for exports are Great Britain, USA, Northern

Ireland, Canada and Germany. Beer and cider exports are mainly directed to the UK and Continental Europe, while the

USA is the main destination for whiskey and liqueurs.

Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream are GIs (Geographical Indications) recognised by the European Union, which has included

them in bilateral international agreements with countries as far away as Peru This ensures protection against imitation

within the European Community and also with 3rd countries where trade agreements apply.


21


goal one

The economic impact of the spirit drinks sector on the Irish economy is substantial. The industry spends €500

million on Irish raw materials annually which includes cereals, packaging, energy, transport etc. Total employment

related to the production and sale of spirit drinks is estimated at approximately 14,700 jobs; consisting of 1,200

jobs in spirits production, 1,500 jobs in the supplying sector, 11,200 jobs in the hospitality sector and 800 jobs in

the retail sector 1 . Visitor centres for alcoholic beverages are also an important element of Irish tourism. Together

these employees generate €568 million of value-added, of which €102 million is generated in the spirit drinks

sector.

EU Co-Funded Promotion Programmes

The EU supplements national funding by making additional finance available for schemes which promote generic

products to EU and international consumers. Programmes generally cover generic aspects such as quality, safety,

nutritional value or methods of production and are available to representative trade organisations. Three

programmes were underway in Ireland in 2011.

Beef, Pork and Offal promotion in China and Japan

This three-year programme is co-funded by the EU (50%), industry levy (30%) and the Department (20%) and aims

to increase consumer awareness and consumption in China and Japan of quality EU beef, pork and offal products.

This €470,000 programme is run by Bord Bia and will finish in spring 2012.

Milk promotion – ‘Milk in Action ‘

This €1.5 million campaign which commenced in 2010 will run until spring 2013. In Ireland, it is co-ordinated by the

National Dairy Council and is run in co-operation with dairy trade bodies in Northern Ireland, England and Wales.

It is funded on a similar basis to the meat scheme and promotes the nutritional benefits and consumption of

milk and dairy produce with a specific emphasis on making the link with sport, physical activity and nutrition.

Mushroom Promotion – ‘ There’s More to Mushrooms ‘

This three year €2.6 million programme to promote mushrooms on the UK market will run until September 2013.

The campaign aims to address the decline in mushroom sales and aims to increase consumption by over 23,800

tonnes over three years by promoting their taste, nutrition and versatility. It is co-ordinated by Bord Bia and

funded by the EU (50%) and mushroom producers (50%).

Geographical Indication Schemes

Within Europe, the PDO (Protected designation of origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) schemes offer

potential to recognise artisan foods that are linked to a geographical region. Agricultural products and foodstuffs

can apply for recognition where a link exists between the characteristics of a product or foodstuff and the defined

geographical area. Food Harvest 2020 recommended that optimal use should be made of geographical

indications and that further designations should be identified. Ireland currently has four products that benefit

from this scheme (Clare Island Salmon, Imokilly Regato, Connemara Hill Lamb, Timoleague Brown Pudding).

During 2011 a further application for the Waterford Blaa was made and a successful national consultation was

completed.

Bord Bia

The role of Bord Bia is to work in partnership with suppliers to promote and enhance the position of Irish food,

drink and horticulture nationally and globally. In 2011, Bord Bia assisted industry to participate in major

international trade exhibitions, developed promotional and marketing programmes, delivered business

development initiatives to broaden export reach and retained a new generation of marketing professionals

within the food industry through the Bord Bia/Smurfit UCD Marketing Fellowship Programme. The 3nd

Fellowship programme was launched mid 2011 with 25 Fellows expected to complete up to 100 assignments on

behalf of Irish companies in 12 overseas markets. In addition, the Food Industry Strategic Growth Programme (the

“alumni” programme) was rolled out over 2011 and will play a further role in securing, retaining and developing

leadership talent in the industry.

1 Ernst & Young ‘The contribution of the spirits industry to the EU economy’; 2010.


22


goal one

Bord Bia has a range of services to support small businesses. Supports includes a dedicated smallbusiness

website, seminars, advice on branding and distribution and a mentoring programme for highperformance

companies. Its suite of Vantage Service for Small Business is specifically aimed at SME’s

with individual turnovers of less than €3.5m (www.bordbiavantage.ie )

Improving the European Food Supply Chain

EU initiatives are underway to make the European supply chain more transparent and also to promote

sustainable and market based relationships. Ireland is a member of the High Level Forum on the Better

Functioning of the Food Supply Chain which in November endorsed draft ‘guiding principles’ for trading.

These were drawn up by its Business to Business (B2B) Platform which were mandated to draw up

implementation proposals in 2012.

Food Competitiveness Fund

The Food Competitiveness Fund was approved by Government in 2009 to provide additional support

for the food industry. The fund is operated by Enterprise Ireland (EI) and Bord Bia and is administered

by the Department. Over the period 2010-2014 this funding will support business transformation, lean

business process initiatives, management development and leadership initiatives, in-company R&D and

strategic industry-led R&D centres in third level institutions.

Expenditure in 2011 amounted to €4.7 million, comprising €2.2 m. to EI mainly for LEAN manufacturing,

and €2.5 m. for marketing initiatives undertaken by Bord Bia.

Innovation Vouchers

Enterprise Ireland invited small food companies to apply for an Innovation Voucher funded by the

Department. Companies could apply for a voucher worth €5,000 in order to obtain an innovative solution

to a technical or business challenge from a Higher Education Institute in Ireland or Northern Ireland. In

all, 300 Innovation Vouchers were approved in 2011 and these partnerships with a research bodies

enabled some SMEs to move their businesses onto the next level and to add value to their products.

Dairy Investment Fund

Investment continued under the Department’s Dairy Investment Fund, which is managed by E.I. The

primary purpose of this fund is to increase the efficiency of the main dairy companies by supporting the

upgrading of existing plant and buildings to capture new business and to develop value-added products.

DAFM payments amounted to €5.9 million in 2011 which also involves additional industry investment.

Beef and Sheepmeat Capital Investment Scheme

This fund forms part of the Department’s strategy to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the

industry through supporting investment in scale and efficiency in primary processing, and added value

in further processing for retail, food service and manufacturing outlets. In 2011, this scheme made

payments amounting to €6.8 million to companies which had been awarded aid under the fund which is

managed by EI on behalf of the Department.

Marketing & Processing

Annual Report 2011

The Department operates a Capital Investment Scheme for near-farm enterprises. During 2011 payments

amounting to €2.5 million were made to support investments in the horticulture sector and small meat

enterprise.


23


goal one

PRIMARY PRODUCTION

Beef Production and Trade

MEAT

Annual Report 2011

Reflecting the prevalence of strong cattle prices during the year, Teagasc data shows that income on

cattle rearing farms increased by 50% in 2011. Despite this considerable improvement in income, there are

still large numbers of small, low-income cattle farms that continue to be highly reliant on direct

payments. Suckler cow production is the predominant system on cattle rearing farms. To date, the

Department has paid out over €130m under the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme which, since its introduction

in 2008, has made a major contribution to improving the competitiveness of the beef sector. The animal

welfare measures have directly contributed to improved prices for weanlings and enhanced the

reputation of Irish beef and live exports in key markets.

Total cattle slaughterings at DAFM-approved meat plants in 2011 amounted to almost 1.57 million head,

a decrease of over 4% on the figure for 2010. A shift in finishing patterns manifested itself in decreased

steer and heifer supplies accompanied by a significant growth in young bull supplies. The trend towards

lower production may well continue as the CSO December livestock survey indicated that the number

of male cattle aged over one year was 14% below the corresponding figure for 2010. However, supply

constraints and favourable exchange rates this year are continuing to push up cattle prices and maintain

export competitiveness.

Overall cattle disposals in 2011 were down almost 10% which can be attributed to a lower carryover of

stock and lower live exports as rising prices affected competitiveness. Live exports declined by 37% from

340,000 head in 2010 to 216,000 in 2011. The principal destinations were Italy, Northern Ireland and the

Netherlands with Belgium and Spain also featuring as significant markets. These destinations together

accounted for 93% of all live exports in headage terms.


24


goal one

Annual Report 2011

Beef exports for the year were estimated at 510,000 tonnes and were valued at €1.81 billion. The value

of beef exports was boosted by a surge in average cattle prices caused by a fall in finished cattle supplies

coupled with strong demand in the main export markets. At 254,000 tonnes, volumes to the United

Kingdom still represent 50% of Irish beef exports. Exports to Continental Europe benefitted from stronger

export demand for European beef, particularly in the Russian and Turkish markets, and were maintained

at 237,000 tonnes. Shipments of Irish beef to international markets are estimated at 19,000 tonnes. In

summary, some 96% of all Irish beef exports by volume went to the higher-value EU markets.

The EU beef market in 2011 was supported by a relatively favourable world market environment, in

particular increased global import demand. Beef imports into the EU were 15% lower than in 2010 as

shipments from South America and Africa declined. American and Australian beef exports to the EU

continue to grow since the creation of a new duty-free quota for high-quality beef. Further growth can

be expected from Canada, Uruguay and New Zealand as these countries can also avail of this quota.

Beef exports increased by 31% because of low global availability which led to greater demand for

relatively high priced EU beef on the world markets.

According to the FAO’s Food Outlook for May 2012, global beef production is expected to remain

unchanged from the previous 2 years as growth in developing countries is offset by output contraction

in developed regions, especially the EU and US. However, the global beef trade is expected to increase

by 4% owing to higher import requirements in the EU and US in response to domestic supply shortages.

Shipments to Russia are also likely to increase as falling domestic production combined with an increased

quota for reduced tariff beef arising from its accession to the WTO.

EU male cattle prices have continued to move upwards in 2012 with average carcase prices for R3 steers

in week 18 recording a 19% increase on the same period in 2011. Ireland and the UK account for 80% of

steer beef production, with France the other major producer, and prices trends have been similar in all

three countries. The main reasons are supply shortages and firm demand, particularly in the case of Irish

exports. Likewise, strong cull cow prices have prompted an increased level of cow disposals in a number

of leading producing countries over the last 18 months. EU cow prices have risen steadily in tandem with

male cattle prices because of declining supplies of prime beef and an ongoing strong demand for cow

beef, notably forequarter cuts for mince as consumers switch to cheaper cuts.

The EU-27 cow herd in December 2011 fell by almost 2% to 35 million head. Suckler cow numbers fell by

almost 2% to 12.1 million head and dairy cow numbers were around 2% lower at 22.8 million head. Any

further reduction in the EU cow herd will impact on medium-term beef output across the Europe. The

most recent projections from the EU Commission suggest a further fall of 4% in EU beef output by 2020

to 7.4 million tonnes.

At present, the overall beef market situation remains positive for producers but, like all EU agricultural

markets, it will continue to be strongly influenced by macroeconomic developments.

Beef Policy Initiatives

The Beef 2020 Activation Group was established in February 2011 to consider the next steps necessary

to achieve the sectoral output targets contained in the Food Harvest 2020 strategy. It presented its

report to Minister Coveney in June 2011. The 2020 strategy targeted an increase of 20% in the output

value of the beef sector. The industry-led Group reported that, having regard to market developments

in the interim and on the basis that specific additional actions were taken, a more ambitious 40% growth

in beef sector output value is possible by 2020. The Group’s recommendations for the development of

the sector included the retention of direct payments for suckler cow production and support for an

effective discussion group programme to underpin effective management and technology transfer in

beef farming similar to that already operating in the dairy sector. This recommendation will be

implemented with the launch of a Beef Technology Adoption Programme (BTAP) in 2012 with anticipated

funding of €5m. The BTAP has been devised to build on the success of the Dairy Efficiency Programme

and to draw on the lessons learnt from the BETTER Farm Beef Programme and will provide a useful

stimulus to growing the overall output value of the beef sector.


25


goal one

Pigmeat

Irish pig production continued to increase in 2011 following the post-dioxin recovery seen in 2010.

Production grew by more than 9% in volume and almost 20% in value. Slaughterings at export-approved

plants totalled almost 2.85 million.

Exports of pigmeat amounted to over €390 million, a 19% increase on 2010. Amounts to international

markets grew considerably, offsetting more sluggish trends in UK and European markets.

Producer prices continued to improve and ended the year over 12% ahead. Pig producers have been

particularly affected by significant increases in input costs, most notably cereal prices, since mid-2010.

There has been downward pressure on margins and this, coupled with difficulties for some producers in

accessing credit, is putting the sector under considerable pressure. In addition, new pig welfare rules on

Loose Sow Housing, due to come into force in January 2013 is posing a significant challenge for the

sector. Pigmeat remains however the most consumed meat worldwide and this will continue to present

opportunities for Irish producers, given our self-sufficiency.

The Pigmeat Recall Scheme and the Pig and Cattle Disposal Scheme, launched in the wake of the dioxin

outbreak, were managed successfully during the year with significant claims settled.

Pig Salmonella Control Programme

The Pig Salmonella Control Programme (PSCP), co-funded between industry (€60,000) and the

Department (€40,000), continued during 2011. Monthly samples are taken at factories from all producers

who supply more than 200 pigs for slaughter per annum. During 2011, almost 21,000 samples were taken

and tested from 364 herds which provides more up-to-date results for both producers and processors

on disease prevalence.

Poultry and Eggs

Annual Report 2011

The poultry sector continued to face considerable challenges during 2011. Chief among these were the

continued increase in cereal and feed costs and significant pressure from imports. In the current

economic climate, consumers regard poultry as a value-for-money food and this has been reflected in a

small increase in consumption. In addition, export value grew and now amounts to almost €200 million.

Poultry is normally reared under contract to processors, for a pre-agreed price, and therefore poultry

producers are not subject to the same price fluctuations as other farmers.

New EU plans providing for the conversion of egg production systems to ‘enriched cages’ will come into

operation on 1 January 2012. These proposals, which were made on animal welfare grounds, have been

in train for a number of years. Eggs from conventional ‘unenriched cages’ are not allowed on the market

from this date. The Department worked closely with the industry to assist producers in converting their

production systems prior to the deadline and introduced an aid package of €16 million under the RDP to

assist producers with the costs of transferring to enriched cages. Due to the new requirement, the

number of flock owners now engaged in caged production has fallen from 82 to approximately 30.

However, as a result of new entrants and capacity expansion, the size of the caged egg flock, at

approximately 1.35 million, remained broadly unchanged from previous years.


26


goal one

MILK

Dairy Markets and Trade

In 2011, international dairy markets continued to perform strongly. As EU and Irish dairy commodity

prices were high and relatively stable during the year, market support measures were not required. In

Ireland the average milk price was over 34 cent/litre, 15% above the 2010 price of 30c/litre. Exports of Irish

dairy products and ingredients were valued at some €2.66 billion in 2011, an increase of 17% over 2010.

Milk Policy Initiatives

Annual Report 2011

Implementation of Food Harvest 2020

Food Harvest 2020 was published in mid-2010 and set the ambitious target for the dairy sector of

increasing milk production by 50% over the next decade. The Dairy Expansion Activation Group,

established in the second half of 2010, published its ‘Road Map’ in February 2011 setting out 55 actions

that are required to achieve the 50% target. The action points are broken into four categories, namely,

on-farm production, efficiency in the milk processing sector, the development of market opportunities

and general agriculture policy. All stakeholders are being actively encouraged to discharge the

responsibilities assigned to them. The Department is monitoring progress in the implementation of

actions assigned to it and to other state agencies and will report on it in 2012.

Milk Quota Trading Scheme

The Milk Quota Trading Scheme continued to be implemented successfully in 2011. The improved market

conditions and increased confidence was reflected in both the increased demand for quota and the

reduced volumes for sale. The total volume traded in 2011 was just over 53 million litres, down from the

70 million litres traded in 2010. Prices rose significantly, however, from 25 cent or less per litre at the end

of 2010 to 50 cent per litre at the end of 2011, having reached a high of 56 cent per litre in the first of the

two stages of the scheme.

Over the six years of its operation, the scheme has contributed to producer consolidation, with the

number of active milk producers falling from 20,200 in 2007 to 18,263 in 2011.

New Entrants to Dairying

The third of five annual increases of 1% in national milk quota agreed under the Health Check became

available on 1 April 2011. As in the previous years, three-quarters of the increase was allocated as a topup

to the quotas of all active producers, while the remaining 0.25% was distributed to successful

applicants under the scheme for New Entrants to Dairying. During the first three years of the scheme,

229 new entrants were allocated a total of more than 42 million litres of milk quota. All successful

applicants under the New Entrants Scheme undertake a 4-phase training programme facilitated by

Teagasc.

Dairy Efficiency Programme

In December 2009 a new three-year Dairy Efficiency Programme was introduced, under which €18 million

of unused SPS funds would be spent in encouraging significant efficiency gains on Irish dairy farms mainly

though participation in Discussion Groups. These groups, which are formed and assisted by facilitators

who have been trained by Teagasc to a FETAC-accredited standard, place particular emphasis on the

adoption of best practice in grassland management, breeding and financial management. Participants

in the programme have their progress monitored by their facilitator, and they are required to meet

certain standards on attendance and project completion. In return the participants receive a payment

at the end of each year, with the level of payment determined by the participation rate in the

Programme. In 2011 more than 6,000 participants were involved in the programme and the vast majority

have now received their payment.


27


goal one

CROPS

Cereals

Overall cereal area was up 19% from 2010. Winter barley and wheat were up 36% and 40% respectively

while winter oats dropped slightly. The overall area devoted to spring crops increased by 10%.

Cereal yields in 2011 were very high due to favourable growing conditions throughout the growing season

and a long, cool and bright grain filling period. Yields of winter and spring barley were the highest on

record while yields of winter and spring wheat were the second highest recorded. The overall production

of cereals for the country in 2011 is estimated to approximately 2.5 million tonnes, an increase of 22% on

2010. Cereal prices remained high in 2011 due to increased demand and lower than expected production

in Europe.

TABLE 1.2 : Cereal Production Area (ha) 2010-2011

2010 2011

Winter Spring Winter Spring

Barley 25,912 132,010 35,287 143,284

Wheat 54,910 15,939 77,029 16,286

Oats 9,067 8,590 8,872 12,173

Total 89,889 156,539 121,188 171,743

Total 246,428 292,931

Source: DAFM Area Aid

Crop Variety Evaluation

Overall conditions for sowing both winter and spring trials were excellent as were harvesting conditions.

409 varieties of grass, clover, barley, wheat, oats, forage maize, oilseed rape and potatoes were

evaluated in National, Recommended List and other trials in 2011. The varieties of each species considered

most suitable for Irish producers were selected from these trials and published in Recommended List

Booklets and on the Department’s website; www.agriculture.gov.ie. The National Catalogue of

Agricultural Plant Varieties (NCAPV) and the National Journal of Plant Variety Rights (PVR) were also

compiled and published.

In conjunction with the malting industry, DAFM commenced evaluation work specifically to identify the

most suitable barley varieties for malting.

TABLE 1.3: Number of Varieties Evaluated in 2011

Crop Number

Cereals 201

Grass 122

Forage Maize 33

Oilseed Rape 21

Clover 21

Potatoes 11


28


goal one

Annual Report 2011

A most successful Open Day was held in July for the Irish Seed Trade Association at the DAFM Crop

Evaluation Centre in Ballyderown, Co Cork. There was also close collaboration with Teagasc in the sowing

of cereal trials on the 3 Teagasc Better Farms as part of the Better Farm Initiative. Trial inspections and

information visits for interested groups of breeders, agents, consultants and farmers were also hosted

at the three DAFM centres and at other outside trial locations.

Seed Certification

For the main agricultural crops, the only seeds that may be marketed in Ireland are of those varieties

listed on the Irish National Catalogue of Agricultural Plant Varieties, or the EU Common Catalogue of

Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species. Seed must be certified to meet certain minimum quality standards

for varietal identity, purity, germination capacity and disease levels. Certification involves inspection of

growing crops and of the harvested seed or tubers, identity preservation during processing and official

labeling.

Table 1.4: Area and Variety of Seed Certification Crops

Area of Crops Inspected for Area of Crops Approved for

Seed Certification in 2011 (Ha) Seed Certification in 2011 (Ha)

Cereals 7,851 7,159

Pulses 18 18

Potatoes 543 502

Oilseed Rape 174 159

In 2011, all grass seed was imported as certified seed and the Department oversaw the formulation and

labeling of grass seed mixtures.

Seed Potato Laboratory

During 2011, 460 varieties (includes potato seedlings not yet named) were maintained in vitro at the

Potato Laboratories, Tops, Raphoe, Co. Donegal. Approximately 53,000 potato mini-tubers from 25

different potato varieties were produced in virus proof tunnels. Two new potato seedlings were tested

for distinctness, uniformity and stability as prescribed by the International Union for the Protection of

New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). A reference collection of 452 named potato varieties was also

maintained.

Horticulture

In 2011 the output value for the horticulture sector, including potatoes* was estimated at €363 million.

.


29


goal one

Table 1.5. Horticulture Output Value

Annual Report 2011

Product 2010 2011 % change

€ m € m year on year

Mushrooms 98.5 100.2 +1.7%

Field Vegetables 59.9 61.3 +2.3%

Protected Crops 71.6 71.5 -0.1%

Outdoor Fruit Crops 7.8 7.4 -5.1%

Potatoes* 122.3 73.7 -40%

Bulbs, outdoor flowers and foliage sector 2.9 4.2 +44.8%

Hardy nursery crops, and other 39.6 44.5 +12.4%

horticulture sectors

Total 402.6 362.8 -9.9%

* Potato values based on CSO estimates. All other values based on DAFM estimates.

Severe weather conditions in late 2010 dramatically reduced the value of crops and plants carried into

2011 giving a difficult start to the year for many of the horticultural sectors. However, for those who

were able to replace plants and propagation material lost due to the frost, good growing conditions

from summer 2011 onwards resulted in very low plant losses and reduced costs for field vegetable,

nursery crop and protected crop producers. A full census of the Irish Amenity Sector was carried out in

2011. This showed an increase in the estimated value of the ‘Bulbs, outdoor flowers and foliage sector’

as well as the ‘Hardy nursery crops, and other horticulture sectors’ as outlined above. An over supply

situation with potatoes lead to a collapse in prices and a very reduced value of output.

Overall, the Irish horticultural sector continued to face downward price pressure from the retail multiples

as competition within the retail trade intensified in response to the ongoing recession. Cash flow and

restrictions on the availability of credit impacted on investment at grower level with opportunities for

expansion very much depending on the individual business’ circumstances and availability of cash flow.

The up-take of investment at grower level under the National Development Plan improved with 75% of

investments approved for the sector in 2011 actually going ahead. In total 126 growers received almost

€3.0m in grant aid during the year. This facilitated capital investment of approx. €7.5m in specialist plant

and equipment.

In May 2011 a major outbreak of Verocytotoxigenic/ shigotoxin producing E. coli (VTEC/STEC) occurred

in Germany. The outbreak resulted in more than 50 deaths and in excess of 3,000 people were reported

ill. The source of the contamination was initially incorrectly linked to cucumbers and other salad crops.

This resulted in a significant fall in demand for a wide range of salad crops across Europe which gave

rise to a major over-supply crisis especially in the main exporting countries. In an effort to restore balance

to the market, the European Commission funded a limited scheme to compensate growers that had

destroyed certain types of horticultural products. The rates of compensation offered were well below

normal Irish market prices and were to be reduced further if the scheme was over subscribed. Therefore

most Irish growers opted to sell produce where possible; however two Irish cucumber growers had to

avail of the Scheme. At the end of June, in France, there was a second E. coli outbreak caused by the

same strain. The source of the E. coli contamination was eventually linked to contaminated seed used

in sprouted seed production.


30


goal one

LIVESTOCK

Cattle

The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) continued to make excellent progress in 2011 towards

optimising genetic gain for our national dairy and beef herd.

Funding of €1.8m, was provided under the National Development Plan (NDP), for activities to improve

profitability such as progeny testing, breeding information campaigns, research on genetic evaluations

and data enhancements.

Specific highlights for ICBF in 2011 included:

● The collection of breeding and performance data from over 35,000 Suckler Beef herds under the

Animal Welfare Recording & Breeding Scheme.

● Incorporation of ancestry and performance data from this scheme into Genetic Evaluations, leading

to an improvement in the accuracy and quality of the Beef €uro-Star indexes.

● Further improvements to the Economic Breeding Index (EBI) giving an average EBI of €203 for dairy

bulls on the ICBF Active bull list, up from €196 (2010) and €157in 2009. A total of 32 bulls on the active

bull list were bred in Ireland, again showing an increase on 2010.

● A genomic evaluation service for dairy farmers was launched, including an initiative to genotype

10,000 dairy females. This will improve the accuracy and breeds covered by genomic predictions and

allow for greater genetic gain.

● Improved availability of the ICBF cattle-breeding database to herd owners, breed associations, A.I

companies and milk recording companies. New web based information, search and administration

systems were launched to improve ICBF services to the industry.

Pigs

Annual Report 2011

Exports of porcine semen to China.

In 2011 the Department continued to work towards securing access to the Chinese market for Irish

porcine semen.


31


goal one

Sheep

Sheep Ireland, which is associated with the ICBF, continued to make improvements to the national sheep

breeding infrastructure. Funding of €0.7m was provided for a range of measures designed to improve

profitability for Irish sheep farmers. Working with all stakeholders in the industry, it made significant

progress during 2011 in continuing to develop sheep breeding such as:

● Continued implementation of the agreed industry strategy to develop a world class sheep breeding

infrastructure for Irish sheep farmers.

● Enhancements to the sheep-breeding database and providing breeding information to flockowners

through the Lambplus service.

● Collection of ancestry, performance and health data from farms for use in genetic evaluations.

● Operation of Maternal Lamb Producer (MALP) flocks and Central Progeny Test (CPT) flocks around

the country as breeding and demonstration schemes.

Horse and Greyhound Racing Industries

The Department, through the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund, provided a total of €57.29m to these

industries, with Horse Racing Ireland receiving €45.8m and Bord na gCon receiving €11.5m in 2011.

During 2011, the Department maintained on-going liaison with Horse Racing Ireland, Bord na gCon and

the Irish National Stud Company Ltd. to oversee the compliance of each of the three Bodies with their

statutory obligations and with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. The horse and

greyhound industries are vital contributors to the rural economy and support tens of thousands of jobs,

as well as generating significant economic activity.

Support for the non-thoroughbred horse industry

The Department recognises the very important contribution of the non-thoroughbred horse industry to

the economy and to the social fabric of many communities throughout the country. The sector

contributes substantially to the generation of income from a valuable alternative farm enterprise, to

employment, tourism, rural development and the social community and cultural life of the country. In

2011, the Department provided almost €1.3m to this sector by way of grant aid to Horse Sport Ireland for

activities aimed at improving the quality of the Irish sport horse and at developing the sector.

National Development Plan (NDP)

Annual Report 2011

Furthermore, in 2011, a total of €1.28m was provided by the Department towards equine related

measures. These included

● Grant aid to the Irish Equine Centre to provide quality diagnostic and research services into equine

diseases for breeders of thoroughbred and sport horses and also to develop an enhanced forensic

service to detect prohibited substances in animals.

● A variety of equine schemes were administered in conjunction with Horse Sport Ireland with the

specific aim of improving equine quality. These included aid for the formulation of genetic indexes,

DNA testing to verify pedigree, studbook establishment and development, performance testing and

promotion of equines.

● The Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association (ITBA) and the Racing Academy and Centre of Education

(RACE) also received NDP funding from the Department to assist in the delivery of training courses

to breeders.

● The Department provided funding to the International Equine Institute, attached to the University

of Limerick, towards the cost of developing and delivering third level modular courses in equine

science to meet the needs of the horse industry. 32


goal two

GOAL 2

Food Safety, Animal

Health and Welfare and

Plant Health

Annual Report 2011

Performance Budgeting for Goal 2

Food Safety

Animal Health

Animal Welfare

Plant Health

Laboratory Service

● Veterinary Laboratories

Agriculture Laboratories


33


goal two

Annual Report 2011

Performance budgeting for Goal 2

B - FOOD SAFETY, ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE AND PLANT HEALTH

High Level Goal: “Ensure the highest standards of food safety, consumer protection and animal

and plant health”.

Inputs - Financial and Human Resources

2010 Provisional Outturn 2011 Estimate

Current Capital Total Current Capital Total

€000 €000 €000 €000 €000 €000

B.1 - ADMINISTRATION - PAY 108,698 - 108,698 105,231 - 105,231

B.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON-PAY 28,073 1,630 29,703 33,105 2,878 35,983

B.3 - FOOD SAFETY (AND PUBLIC HEALTH), ANIMAL

HEALTH & WELFARE AND PLANT HEALTH 127,596 685 128,281 174,230 1,500 175,730

B.4 - OTHER SERVICES 128 - 128 185 - 185

Programme Total:- 264,495 2,315 266,810 312,751 4,378 317,129

of which pay 108,698 105,277

Staff Numbers 2010 2011

DAFM 2,026 2,011


34


goal two Key Outputs

Public Service Activity:

Implementing effective food and

feed safety and quality monitoring,

inspection and control programmes

to maintain high

standards of food safety and

consumer protection.

Maintaining Ireland’s high animal

and plant health status.

Operating a secure, comprehensive

and effective laboratory and

research service for animals, plants

and food products.

2010 outputs

● Food safety & hygiene control

programmes under the FSAI Service

Contract implemented, including over

22,500 residue tests and over 15,500

food safety,hygiene and quality

inspections

● Compliance achieved with the EU

Multi Annual Control Plan

● Satisfactory outcome achieved on

2010 FSAI and FVO audits.

● Implementation of the dioxin review

recommendations involved four

inspections at food recycling plants,

an annual audit and more stringent

controls.

● TB testing on 8.3m animals carried out

● 390,000 BSE tests and 22,000 TSE

tests carried out

● Genotyping of 1,972 sheep achieved

● Exchequer savings of €1m generated

from reduced testing costs.

● Retained all existing NRL functions.

● Enhanced status by achieving

accreditation for a further 15 tests .

● Meat Control Laboratory is

accredited for 32 tests

2011 output targets

● Effectively implement the Food Safety

/Hygiene programmes in line with the

FSAI Service Contract including circa

18,500 residue tests, 14,000 food

safety & hygiene inspections and the

comprehensive range of required

controls,

● Comply with the requirements of the

EU Multi Annual Control Plan.

● Provide report as required to the EU

Food and Veterinary Office (FVO).

● Facilitate satisfactory outcomes to

the 2011 FSAI and FVO audits.

● Following on from the Dioxin Review,

continue to review and improve

controls

● Carry out 8m TB tests on cattle.

● Achieve further cost reduction of

€0.5m from controlled reduction in

Brucellosis testing.

● Carry out 20,000 TSE tests and

achieve 100% testing compliance on

animals over 48 months

● Achieve target of 2,000 sheep

genotyped

● Achieve accreditation for 11 more

official tests

● Enhance collaboration with other

agencies including production of joint

all-island animal disease surveillance

report.


35


goal two

1

2

3

4

Number of major

food safety incidents

Enhancement of

National Reference

Laboratory functions

Maintenance of access

to existing export

markets and opening

of new trade areas

OIE and Officially

Brucellosis Free (OBF)

disease status

(exotic diseases,

Brucellosis, TB

incidence, BSE cases)

2008

1

297 tests

accredited

4

new markets

opened or

reopened

High Status

( nil, nil, 5.88%, 23 )

Context and

Impact indicators

2009

0

379 tests

accredited

12 new

markets

opened or

reopened

High Status

and OBF

( nil, nil, 5.09%, 9 )

2010

0

403 tests

accredited

7

new markets

opened or

reopened

High Status

and OBF

(nil, nil, 4.62%, 2 )


36


goal two

FOOD SAFETY

Food Safety and Hygiene Controls

Food safety and hygiene standards continued to be guaranteed in 2011 through the implementation by

the Department of its Service Contract with the FSAI. The contract came into force on 31st March 2010,

and will run until 31st December 2015. The Service Contract covers controls on

● Meat hygiene,

● Milk and milk products

● Egg and egg products

● Pesticides

● Horticulture

● Border Inspection Posts

● Residues

● Zoonoses Directive

● Food labelling

The Department held scheduled meetings with the FSAI during 2011 to review progress under the terms

of the contract. The Department provides quarterly and annual reports to the FSAI as required by the

contract. Additionally, on an ongoing basis, it liaises closely with them on the investigation and close out

of food incidents notified on the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) as well as food safety

complaints. No adverse reports have been received from the FSAI on DAFM’s implementation of its

contractual obligations.

Milk, Meat and Feed Hygiene

Annual Report 2011

The Department continued to monitor and verify that approved dairy, meat and animal feed

establishments were compliant with the requirements of the European Food Hygiene Regulations (the

“Hygiene Package”). These regulations are based on the fundamental principle that each food and feed

business operator (FBO) is responsible for the safety of the food/feed they produce. FBOs must adhere

to the internationally accepted HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control point) principles, which give

FBOs the flexibility to adapt control systems to the specific requirements of their operation. A list of

approved and registered food establishments is published on the Department’s website.


37


goal two

The Department also carries out its own risk-based inspections at establishments under its supervision.

Over 7,100 inspections were carried out on meat establishments in 2011 to verify that the relevant

legislative requirements are being fulfilled at all stages of production, processing and distribution. The

corresponding number of inspections in dairy establishments was over 5,500.

53 legal notices were served on meat FBOs and 126 on dairy FBOs, notifying them of infringements under

the Hygiene Regulations; and follow-up action was taken as necessary. Approximately 1,700 inspections

were undertaken on animal feed establishments and 460 legal notices (only 7 of which were deemed

“serious”) on feed FBO’s, notifying them of infringements under the Hygiene Regulations. Follow up

action was taken as necessary and in addition, over 2,000 samples were taken from feed business

operators and sent for various analyses in 2011.

Details on the food safety testing and monitoring programme conducted by the Department’s

Laboratory Service are shown on pages 49 and following.

Multi-Annual National Control Plan

A further element of the Hygiene Package is the implementation of the Multi-Annual National Control

Plan (MANCP). In 2011, the Department contributed to the national annual report on the implementation

of these controls and processes. In addition, the Department carries out an internal audit on these

controls in accordance with the Commission Decision 677/2006 EC. During 2011, risk based audit

programmes were out in place and the outcomes of these audits were reported to senior management

in the Department.

Residues Surveillance in Food

The Department implements a comprehensive National Residue Plan designed to protect consumers

from illegal residues in food. During 2011, in excess of 20,000 samples were taken from eleven food

producing species and tested for a range of substances that fall into four broad categories: banned

substances such as growth-promoting hormones; approved veterinary medicines; animal feed additives;

and environmental contaminants. Samples were taken on farms, at slaughter plants and at primary

processing plants and packing plants and are analysed at approved laboratories which hold accreditation

to the International Standard (ISO 17025). To enhance consumer protection, analytical capability is

continuously updated through the extension of the range of substances monitored and through

improvements in the sensitivity of analytical methods. All positive results were investigated on the farm

of origin with a view to taking the necessary enforcement measures up to and including legal action.

Official testing on animal and animal products is complemented by a statutorily based regime under

which primary processors are obliged to implement residue-monitoring measures. This regime, which

is subject to Department scrutiny, involves an annual submission to the Department of individual residue

testing plans and makes it mandatory for processors to subject supplier to significantly intensified

monitoring, where animals or animal products test positive.

Veterinary Medicines and Residue Surveillance.

Annual Report 2011

Legal and proper use of approved veterinary medicines (including vaccines) plays an important part in

ensuring the continued high animal health status of our food producing animals and of the health of

consumers. The Department, in co-operation with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Irish

Medicines Board, oversees and implements controls in these areas under SI No 786/2007 and SI No

183/2009. These deal with the approval, distribution and use of veterinary medicines, implementation of

residue surveillance measures (e.g. National Residue Plan) and follow-up enforcement activities. In

addition, in conjunction with Customs & Excise, the Department has in place a comprehensive

surveillance plan monitoring the import of veterinary medicines over the ‘internet’ and takes appropriate

actions at import and farm level.


38


goal two

Pesticide Residues

Annual Report 2011

In addition to the residue testing on food of animal origin, a comprehensive pesticide residue control and

testing programme is undertaken by the Department. These tests, which incorporate the EU coordinated

programme, are conducted primarily on cereals and horticultural products. Further details on these

tests are set out in the Agricultural Laboratories section of this chapter.

Approval, Inspection and Control of Plant Protection and Biocidal Products

Only plant protection and biocidal products which are included in the Official Register may be placed on

the market. Comprehensive scientific risk assessments for the consumer, the worker and the

environment are carried out by this Department on products and active substances prior to product

authorisation and inclusion in the Official Register.

Some 974 plant protection products (PPCs) containing 215 active substances, were included on the

Register at the end of 2011. Details are available on the Department’s website:

http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmingsectors/crops/ - follow the link to the Pesticide Control Service

(PCS). The website may be interrogated by product name, by active substance or by function and crop.

To avoid duplication, registration and re-registration of PPCs, is done on a collaborative work sharing

basis between EU Member States. In 2011, a project was implemented on the evaluation of a new

pesticide active substance, which was co-ordinated by this Department and involved 4 EU Member

States.

At the end of 2011, the Biocidal Product Register contained 2,607 products notified for use in Ireland.

While the authorisation process for biocidal products is still in its infancy, systems are developing so that

the Department remains well placed to face the future challenges in this area. The Department

participates in the Standing Committee on Biocidal Products and also at the Council Working Group to

achieve sensible and practical regulation in this area.

The Department carries out follow up actions in relation to breaches of Maximum Residue Levels (MRL)

and unauthorised uses identified by the Pesticide Control Laboratory. In 2011, risk assessments of MRL

breaches were carried out following the detection of pesticide residues in 33 (3.2%) of the 1,026 (fruit &

vegetables, cereals & processed products) samples taken. Twenty two of the 33 breaches related to

produce of non-Irish origin. In each instance, warning letters were issued advising these wholesaler and

officials that the produce would be subjected to statutory action if a repeat infringement was detected.

The 11 breaches relating to produce of Irish origin gave rise to no unacceptable risks to consumers, and

so there was no requirement to issue an alert through the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.

Nevertheless, all such breaches were investigated and appropriate action taken. In addition, all instances

of unauthorised uses of PPCs were investigated and follow-up action initiated, including targeting of

produce for future sampling.

Since January 2010, importers of certain produce, identified as ‘at risk’ from a pesticide residue

perspective, are subject to more rigorous controls. They are required to complete additional

documentation prior to gaining entry into the jurisdiction, are sampled at a frequency determined by

the European Commission and are analysed for the presence of specified pesticide substances. These

‘at risk’ products are revised quarterly, new products added or processes reviewed, depending on the

results obtained from the control programme and from audits conducted by the EU FVO in the interim.

In 2011, none of the samples analysed on foot of these increased levels of control, were found to contain

pesticide levels above legal standards.


39


goal one

Annual Report 2011

Import Controls on Animal Products

There are 1,044 importers of products of animal origin registered with the Department. During 2011,

1,232 consignments of animal products, including fish for food, comprising 18.4m kg (16.3m kg in 2010)

were approved for entry into the EU through the BIPs. 14 consignments (25 in 2010) were rejected.

Licences are issued for importation of samples of animal products used for diagnostic/education/research

purposes as well for importation of non-harmonised animal products. They are also issued for the reimportation

of exported consignments for Trade or Food Safety purposes in accordance with national

rules. Details as follows:

2011 2010

Trade & Research Samples: 437 356

Non-harmonised products: 68 67

Re-imported consignments 14 10

Where an outbreak of animal disease occurs in an approved third country or where a public health risk

is identified, the EU may invoke safeguard measures controlling or banning import until any risks to

public health and to EU economic production have been removed. During 2011 safeguard measures

affecting animal product imports were applied to a number of areas including:

(a) Emergency measures suspending imports from Peru of certain bivalve molluscs intended for

human consumption

(b) Imposing special conditions governing the import of feed and food originating in or consigned

from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station.

(c) Protective measures in relation to Avian Influenza in several countries, restricting imports of

poultry, birds, unprocessed wild bird meat product, raw petfood, unprocessed feed materials

containing wild bird material and unprocessed wild bird game trophies.

(d) Emergency measures applicable to consignments of fishery and aquaculture products imported

from India, Indonesia, Myanmar, crustaceous from Bangladesh and intended for human

consumption

(e) Emergency measures applicable to consignments of farmed fishery products imported from

Indonesia and intended for human consumption.

(f) Emergency measures applicable to crustaceous imported from Bangladesh and intended for

human consumption.

(g) Protective measures applying to certain products of animal origin for animal nutrition imported

from Ukraine.

(n) Protective measures with regard to certain fishery and aquaculture products intended for

human consumption and imported from Myanmar


40


goal two

Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) System

Annual Report 2011

Comprehensive traceability systems underpin product safety, quality assurance systems and are vital

for consumer confidence. The main developments on the AIM system during 2011 were as follows:

● Provision of facility at export assembly centres to obtain data for both the Beef Quality Assurance

Scheme (BQAS) and Traces systems on exported bovines,

● Provision of an agency/agent facility to allow farmers to nominate third parties to interact on their

behalf,

● Online user enhancement through a new facilities screen and the modification of the certificate of

compliance facility,

● Modification of the bovine factory system

● Recording facilities for internal sheep and goat movements, their export and import movements and

revised census facilities,

● Online ordering facilities for dispatch document and the generation by local offices of emergency

dispatch documents for sheep.


41


ANIMAL HEALTH

Class A Diseases

In recent years, outbreaks of diseases such as foot and mouth disease, avian influenza, bluetongue and

African swine fever and more recently, a previously unknown virus, provisionally named as

"Schmallenberg" virus (SBV), within or close to Europe have clearly illustrated the increasing threat

posed from such diseases. Vigilance against disease introduction is a priority for the Department and

previous experiences have demonstrated the absolute necessity of properly regulating trade, high levels

of biosecurity, continued vigilance, contingency arrangements and robust legislation to deal speedily

and effectively with disease threats and outbreaks.

Contingency Planning

Contingency plans are in place for foot and mouth disease, avian influenza, bluetongue and classical

swine fever. These are based on existing EU legislation and criteria identified during outbreaks of such

diseases in Europe. These plans aim to mitigate the risk of disease introduction into Ireland and to control

and eradicate them quickly if outbreaks occur. The continued focus of the Department is on constantly

reviewing, refining and updating our various contingency plans and arrangements and ensuring that we

have all of the necessary measures in place and tools available to us to deal with any suspect or outbreak

of these diseases.

BSE

The rate and level of BSE continues to fall in recent years with 3 cases confirmed in 2011. Under OIE rules

Ireland remains a “controlled risk for BSE” a status achieved in May 2008. A total of 338,163 animals

were tested for BSE in 2011.


42


goal two

Scrapie

Scrapie is a compulsorily notifiable disease in Ireland. In accordance with EU legislation positive flocks

are genotyped and the susceptible sheep are removed for slaughter outside the food chain.

Compensation payable includes live valuation of breeding animals, a rate for factory lambs based on the

average factory price up to maximum weight of 20kgs. A “hardship” payment of €84 per susceptible

breeding ewe disposed is also payable. Additionally, the Department genotypes a limited number of

replacement rams, free of charge.

Overall, a total of 148 flocks were restricted for scrapie from October 2003 to the end of December 2011

with 127 flocks de-restricted at the end of the year. In recent years restrictions have declined with only

7 new flocks identified and restricted in 2011. Under the Active Surveillance Programme, 10,233 sheep

over 18 months of age were tested at slaughter plants and 10,399 fallen sheep were tested at knackeries

in 2011.

National Genotype Programme – NGP

A National Genotype Programme (NGP) was launched in April, 2004, to encourage sheep breeders to

raise genetic resistance to Scrapie in the National Flock. This is a voluntary programme and since its

introduction, a total of 84,162 sheep have been genotyped up to the end of 2011.

Animal Health Computer System

Annual Report 2011

The Animal Health Computer System (AHCS) is being developed on a phased basis to support the

Department’s animal health and welfare programmes. The first phase of AHCS concentrated on bovines

while at the same time laying a framework for other species. It is a mission critical system used in each

of the Department’s District Veterinary Offices, HQ offices, Laboratories and Meat Plants. It is closely

integrated with a number of the Department’s other computer systems such as the Animal Identification

and Movement (AIM) system; Corporate Customer System (CCS) and Agriculture Field and Inspection

Testing System (AFIT). Private veterinary practitioners in approximately 440 veterinary practices

throughout the country also use AHCS on a daily basis.

A major function of AHCS is the management of the TB and Brucellosis programmes - almost 100% of

testing under these programmes is reported electronically by private veterinary practitioners. The system

has a database of sheep flocks and goat herds, records details of TSE testing carried out in meat plants

and knackeries and incorporates a national database of poultry producers. This latter was compiled as

part of the Department’s contingency measures for dealing with the threat of Avian influenza. The

system contains a powerful tracing module that utilises data held on the Animal Identification and

Movement (AIM) system to facilitate the tracing of bovine animals in the event of a disease outbreak.

In 2011, the system was expanded to facilitate the registration of pig herds as part of the Department’s

commitment to have a full register of premises on which all farmed animals are kept. In addition,

modifications were made to take account of changes in the Brucellosis testing requirements following

on Ireland’s attainment of Official Brucellosis Free status and to support the implementation of the Local

Office re-organisation plan. Preliminary work was also undertaken in the development of a module to

manage class A disease incidents.


43


goal two

CLASS B DISEASES

Bovine Brucellosis

Ireland is free of Brucellosis in sheep, pigs and cattle. There has been no outbreak of Brucellosis in cattle

in Ireland since April 2006 and Ireland obtained Official Brucellosis Free (OBF) status in July 2009.

Following OBF status a controlled reduction in Brucellosis testing requirements was implemented

including:

● the age threshold for annual round testing has been increased to 24 months;

● the validity period of the pre-movement test has been increased from 30 to 60 days;

● the age-limit for the pre-movement test for female animals has been increased from 12 to 18 months

and to 24 months for bulls, in view of the lower risk attached to their movement;

● From 1 January 2011, 50% of suckler and drystock herds are required to be tested every second year

for the round test and

● From 1 January 2012, 20% of dairy herds and 50% of non dairy herds will be required to be tested every

year for the round test.

All of the above changes will have removed in 2012 some 2.9m animals from the testing regime on an

annual basis, with significant benefits to farmers in terms of reduced testing costs, estimated at

approximately €9m per annum.

The on-farm blood testing regime is supplemented by monthly Bulk Milk Testing from each dairy herd and

blood sampling of cows in slaughter plants.

Table 2.1: Incidence of Brucellosis

* the numbers of reactors (308) and herds restricted (29) as a result of a brucellosis test since April 2006 were, on the basis of further

investigation, considered to be due to false positive reactions.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Annual Report 2011

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

No. of Reactors 3,112 1,530 900 664 228 212 243* 243* 328* 252* 308*

No. of newly 553 430 324 283 144 132 161* 111* 100* *36 *29

Restricted Herds

Approximately 98.5% of the national herd was tested for bovine TB in the course of the year. The herd

incidence of bovine Tuberculosis decreased by 8% in 2011 compared with 2010. The APT (number of

reactors per thousand cattle tested) and the herd incidence were at 2.22 and 4.18% respectively. These

are lower than in 2010 (2.41 and 4.65%) and, indeed, were the lowest recorded for many years. Trends in

the incidence are set out in the table below.


44


goal two

Table 2.2: Incidence of Bovine Tuberculosis Updated

Bovine TB is a much more intractable disease than Brucellosis, mainly because of the presence of

infection in wildlife (badgers) which seeds infection into the cattle population. It is generally accepted

that eradication is not a practicable proposition until this source of infection is removed. The current

eradication programme includes a badger removal strategy aimed at reducing both the incidence of TB

in wildlife and the opportunities for contact between cattle and wildlife.

The long-term objective of the Department is to develop a vaccine for badgers and considerable research

is being conducted in collaboration with UCD and DEFRA in the UK on the development of such a vaccine.

The Department commenced preliminary work on a three-year badger vaccination trial in late 2008, the

objective of which is to provide information on the efficacy of the oral vaccine in reducing the level of

TB infection in the badger population under study. Further field trials were rolled out in 2011. If the field

trials are successful, the introduction of a national badger vaccination strategy will reduce the need to

remove TB infected badgers as TB levels fall in both cattle and badgers. It will be some years, however,

before any vaccine is available and, in the meantime, existing strategies, adjusted as appropriate, in light

of disease trends, will be broadly maintained.

Bovine Diseases Levies

Receipts from Bovine Diseases Levies amounted to €5.8m in 2011, compared with €5.5m in 2010.

Compensation Schemes

The On-Farm Market Valuation Scheme is the main measure for compensating farmers for the removal

of reactors. Other schemes (Depopulation Grants, Income Supplement and Hardship Grants) are also

available to compensate for income losses due to restriction. Approximately €16.6 million was spent

during 2011 on all compensation elements of the TB and Brucellosis Eradication Schemes, representing

a 5% increase on 2010 expenditure. While reactor numbers continued to decrease, the increase in cattle

prices resulted in increased expenditure.

Prosecutions

Annual Report 2011

Bovine T.B. 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Statistics

Incidence 7.12% 6.38% 6.37% 5.86% 5.54% 5.37% 6.02% 5.88% 5.09% 4.65% 4.18%

Number of 33,702 28930 27,978 22967 25,884 24,173 27,711 29,901 23805 20211 18,531

Reactors

Number of Newly 9,195 8338 7,771 6682 6,647 6,386 7,046 6,837 5860 5304 4,780

Restricted Herds

In 2011, the Special Investigation Unit and the District Veterinary Offices continued their investigations

of irregularities in the Bovine TB and Brucellosis Eradication Schemes and the bovine identification and

registration regulations. Resulting from those investigations, there were six successful prosecutions

during the year and eight further cases were submitted for prosecution. This compares to 5 successful

cases in 2010 and 9 in 2009


45


goal two

Animal Health Ireland (AHI)

Annual Report 2011

AHI was launched in 2009 and is a private company limited by guarantee to deal specifically with nonregulated

diseases with the aim of improving the profitability, sustainability and competitiveness of

livestock farmers. The Department has committed to providing funding to AHI up to a maximum value

of €0.5m per annum, for a period of 5 years and subject to matching contributions being provided by the

industry.

AHI complements the existing animal health programmes for regulated diseases by its focus on nonregulatory

animal health issues – including Johnes, Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), Bovine Viral

Diarrhoea (BVD), lameness, mastitis and infertility.

A one year voluntary BVD eradication programme was announced in September 2011 to take effect from

1 January 2012. This programme builds on work AHI has been carrying out on BVD, further details are

given under Virology Laboratory following and on the AHI website - www.animalhealthireland.ie


46


goal two

ANIMAL WELFARE

Animal Health and Welfare Bill

Good progress was made on the drafting of the Animal Health and Welfare Bill in the course of the year

in line with the commitment in the Programme for Government to “amend and strengthen legislation

on animal cruelty and animal welfare”. The Bill proposes to amend, consolidate and update legislation

in the area of animal health and welfare.

Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC)

FAWAC is an independent advisory body to the Minister with a wide representative base. Since it was

established in 2002, FAWAC has become recognised for its crucial role in promoting animal welfare. It

provides considerable useful advice to the Minister and has been particularly successful in publishing a

series of welfare guideline booklets on a range of areas, such as dairy, beef, pig, sheep and poultry

farming. Recent publications include ‘Managing Acutely Injured Livestock on Farm’, ‘Best Practice for the

Welfare of Animals during Transport’ and ‘Guidelines for Horses, Ponies and Donkeys’ and specifically the 2011

booklet entitled “Code of Practice for the Welfare of Laying Hens”. This latter code encourages all those

who care for laying hens to follow the highest standards of animal husbandry and continue to practice

responsible management on farms. Further information is available on the website www.fawac.ie

The Early Warning/Intervention System (EWS)

The EWS for animal welfare continued to operate successfully throughout the country in 2011. The

objective of the system, which operates under FAWAC, is to provide a framework within which animal

welfare problems can be identified and dealt with before they become critical. Animal welfare cases

may arise as a result of issues relating to the health of the herd-owner and so the Health Service Executive

(HSE), works with the EWS to ensure that their representatives are available to provide assistance on

human health issues to the herdowner, if requested by Department staff and with the agreement of the

herdowner.

Animal Welfare Organisations

The Department has since 1995 made payments to a number of animal welfare organisations involved

in the direct delivery of animal care and welfare services. 132 animal welfare organisations throughout

the country were assisted with payments amounting to €1.235 million in 2011.

Control of Horses

Annual Report 2011

In 2011, the Department provided funding of over €2.7 million to Local Authorities towards expenses

incurred by them under the Control of Horses Act, 1996. The Department held a series of meetings with

Local Authority representatives with a view to devising a strategy to bring greater uniformity to the

implementation of the Control of Horses Act throughout the different Local Authority areas. 47


goal two

PLANT HEALTH

Plant Protection and Health

In order to maintain Ireland’s high plant health status, the Department carried out an action programme

involving the following activities in 2011:

● Nurseries and garden centres were intensively inspected for quarantine pests and, where found,

eradication measures were implemented, to ensure continued trade from these premises.

● Surveys were carried out in public parks, private gardens and the wider environment for harmful

organisms on foot of several European Commission emergency decisions.

● Farms producing potatoes, tomatoes, maize and beet were inspected for harmful organisms specific

to those crops.

● Mandatory inspections were carried out on relevant plants and plant products imported directly into

Ireland from third countries. Quarantine and harmful organisms were intercepted on a number of

occasions with the result that none became established in the country.

● On-going measures to prevent the spread of the disease commonly referred to as ‘Sudden Oak Death’,

caused by the fungus-like organism Phytophthora ramorum were undertaken at nurseries, garden

centres, public parks and private gardens.

● The plant health contingency plan was activated to deal with the detection of the quarantine disease

Phytophthora ramorum in Japanese larch. Further details are provided in the Forestry section in Goal

3 following.

● The annual survey for the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, that causes the disease known as Fireblight,

was conducted; eradication measures were employed for all findings. The number of findings in 2011

was very low.

● No finding of the brown rot disease of potatoes was detected following ongoing intensive testing of

seed and ware potatoes.

● Inspections were undertaken on plant propagating material at several locations to ensure disease

free material was available.

● Over 13,000 tonnes of potatoes exported to Russia were inspected and certified.

● Staff of the Horticulture and Plant Health Division acted as a tutor for the Emergency Decisions Non-

Forestry Better Training for Safer Food courses during 2011.


48


goal two

LABORATORY SERVICE

Veterinary Laboratories

Annual Report 2011

Virology

The Virology laboratory is an EU National Reference Laboratory, (NRL), for a number of OIE Listed

Diseases. It is required to have a diagnostic capacity; to perform surveillance; and to participate in

proficiency trials (PTs) annually. The PTs, prepared by the EU Community Reference Laboratories, consist

of samples which must be tested by a wide range of serological, virological and molecular techniques.

During the year, the NRL took part in eleven PTs for classical swine fever, African swine fever, foot and

mouth disease, swine vesicular disease, bluetongue, avian influenza, Newcastle disease, African horse

sickness, dourine, glanders, and equine contagious metritis. The results were presented at the NRL’s

annual meetings and were in compliance with the relevant EU legislation.

The Division, in its role as an Official Testing Laboratory, also participated in quality control ring trials for

other diseases such as: infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine virus diarrhoea, enzootic bovine leucosis,

maedi visna, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, equine infectious anemia, and equine viral

arteritis. Private laboratories that test for equine contagious metritis were also supervised.

2011 was a busy year in terms of compliance with international standards. Staff successfully validated

and extended the scope of the nine tests accredited to ISO 17025 by introducing new rtPCRs for FMDV,

SVDV and BVDV; haemagglutination inhibition test for NDV; virus isolation tests for AIV and NDV; and

various ELISAs for EBL, BHV1 and BVDV. The addition of these new techniques has resulted in the

accreditation of eighteen distinct testing activities, which include all tests for List A avian diseases.

Virology was instrumental in the development of an ISO 17025: 2005 quality system in the Limerick and

Kilkenny Regional Veterinary Laboratories by providing practical support, project leadership, and a quality

manager.

.

Work continued on the integration of the laboratory information management system (LIMS) with the

Animal Health computer system for OIE Listed exotic diseases. This will allow the automatic linking of test

data from the laboratory with the main DAFM database


49


goal two

Annual Report 2011

The amelioration of the CAT 4 laboratories and associated plants has progressed with all drainage and

heat treatment work fully upgraded and validated. A tender has been issued for the appointment of a

bio-security consultant to oversee the completion of the laboratory works, which should commence in

2012

The range of tests for Class A and OIE Listed exotic diseases was expanded by introducing a

comprehensive diagnostic service for dourine, glanders and piroplasmosis. For surveillance purposes,

some 4,958 sera were screened for classical swine fever antibody, with negative results. Serological

surveys were also undertaken for bluetongue, maedi-visna, and caprine arthritis and encephalitis.

Aujeszky’s Disease (AD)

As part of the final stages of the AD Eradication Programme, undertaken in conjunction with the

Brucellosis Laboratory Cork, more than 16,000 sera were examined in Backweston for gE antibodies.

Bovine Leucosis

Annual testing for the Enzootic Bovine Leucosis Surveillance Programme was completed on sera from

46,624 cattle representing 2,300 herds. These were examined by ELISA for antibodies and all were

negative confirming Ireland’s “country-free” status for the disease.

Avian Influenza and Newcastle disease

For avian influenza virus (AIV), a total of 1,100 samples, using RT-PCR and/or virus isolation, were tested

and reported “online” as required by the EU Commission. In addition, 21,085 samples from commercial

poultry flocks were screened serologically for AIV as part of two major national surveys and to satisfy

requirements for movement and trade. For Newcastle disease, 1,094 tests by PCR and/or virus isolation

were performed and 1,997 sera examined for antibodies.

For trade purposes and as part of the National Antibody Surveillance Programmes for Mycoplasma

species, 37,429 sera were tested for M. gallisepticum; 13,241 sera were examined for M. synoviae; and

2,052 sera screened for M. meleagridis. A total of 13,860 tests for various avian enzootic diseases, such

as infectious bronchitis and avian rhinotracheitis, were also undertaken at the request of the industry and

veterinary practitioners.

Equine Viral Arteritis

In 2011, the Department again licensed the equine viral arteritis vaccine “Artervac” for restricted use in

stallions and it examined serum samples pre-and-post vaccination for surveillance purposes. Serological

surveillance allowed the antibody status of stallions to be investigated with a view to the detection of

potential “shedder stallions”. It also facilitated the maintenance of a database that is used to expedite

import and export certification.

Schmallenberg

Schmallenberg virus is a new virus that was first detected in Northern Europe during the summer and

autumn of 2011. It was first associated with adult cattle and characterised by fever, significant milk drop,

and diarrhoea. Adult sheep showed no clinical signs but in utero infection resulted in stillbirths, abortions

and congenital malformations in lambs. The majority of cases to date have been in lambs.

The Virology Laboratory monitored the situation in Europe and with assistance from colleagues in the

Frederick Loeffler Institute, Germany, two rt-qPCR assays, based on the S3 and L1 gene segments of the

Schmallenberg virus genome, were added to the list of molecular diagnostic techniques.


50


goal two

Bovine Virus Diarrhoea (BVD)

Virology laboratory gave extensive support to Animal Health Ireland on its BVD disease control

programme. It acted as a Reference Laboratory for the virus, provided reference materials in a

proficiency trial and assisted AHI test, assess and approve a number of private BVD testing laboratories.

It also provided confirmatory testing, technical advice, and speakers for presentations to farmers and

veterinarians. Furthermore, the laboratory computer system (LIMS) was connected to the ICBF database

to allow direct transfer of test results for BVD control purposes.

Viral Diagnostic Service.

As part of its viral diagnostic service, 59,000 samples from cattle, pigs, horses and sheep, submitted by

private veterinary practitioners and other sources, were examined for antibodies and virus and reports

and advice furnished. A wide variety of techniques were employed as many samples required multiple

tests for different viruses/ antibodies.

Bacteriology/Parasitology

Annual Report 2011

The Division hosts a number of EU National Reference Laboratory functions for zoonotic pathogens of

food, feed and animal origin. These include Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, Mycobacteria

(TB), Antimicrobial Resistance and Parasites. Completion of all proficiency trials organised by the EU

Community Reference Laboratories was achieved. The Division also provides diagnostic supports to the

Regional Veterinary Laboratories for a number of bacterial diseases.

Over 2739 official samples were cultured for Salmonella and a further 335 samples cultured for

Campylobacter during 2011. In addition a further 773 Salmonella isolates recovered from food business

operator food safety controls were serotyped. A representative selection of these isolates was screened

for antimicrobial resistance and results submitted to an EU database and this was complemented with

antimicrobial resistance of E. coli and Enterococci isolates from 179 poultry samples. The Division

participated in a number of research projects and collated microbiological test data from laboratories

providing testing for food business operators. Molecular typing technologies were applied for typing a

representative selection of Salmonella strains, including MLVA (Multiple locus variable number tandem

repeat analysis) for typing S. Typhimurium and PFGE for the rest of serotypes. Results of both studies are

used to enhance food safety controls. Molecular typing was also undertaken on Campylobacter isolates

in support of the FSAI monitoring programmes.

Antibodies were detected in 3,813 (17.9%) of the 21,343 muscle juice samples from slaughtered pigs tested

under the Salmonella National Control Programme for pigs.

Cultures for Enterobacteriaceae or E. coli were undertaken on over 400 official samples for monitoring

animal by-product controls. A survey of the 5 most common serotypes of Verotoxigenic E. coli was

undertaken in 2011 in beef and sheep minced meat samples. Results showed that verotoxigenic E. coli

levels in minced meat are low and that controls to minimise contamination are highly effective.

The laboratory, as the NRL for parasites, is also working with UCD and EPA to address gaps in the national

diagnostic and typing services required for controlling Cryptosporidium. This protozoan parasite of

animals, humans, fish and birds has been implicated in many waterborne outbreaks of enteric disease.

The laboratory now provides an accredited monitoring service for this organism in support of other

national bodies. Genotyping of isolates from various sources is continuing to facilitate the development

of an epidemiological map of the occurrence of cryptosporidiosis in Ireland.


51


goal two

A major study of foxes was again undertaken in 2011 and shows Ireland free of Echinococcus multilocularis,

one of the most lethal parasitic zoonoses in temperate and artic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Intestines recovered from over 330 foxes were individually processed and contents examined

microscopically for evidence of the parasite.

Diagnostic and export related testing was undertaken for animal diseases included Mycoplasma,

Leptospira spp., and serological tests for Salmonella and various parasitological diseases. A total of 9,002

bovine serum samples were tested for antibodies to Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis

(MAP), the causal agent of Johne’s disease and 585 (6.5%) samples were antibody-positive. MAP was

isolated from 152 (20%) of 761 samples cultured. An ELISA test for tuberculosis was undertaken on 4118

bovine samples from herds under investigation for the disease. The Division undertakes the genotyping

of scrapie positive and cohort animals for the National Genotype Programme. In 2011 a total of 3326

bloods and 41 muscle samples were tested.

In support of the TB programme a total of 5,059 bovine tissue samples were processed with lesions

detected in 3,676, of which 2,176 were tuberculous. M. bovis was isolated from 60 (4.3%) of 1,383

submissions without lesions. Tissue samples from 123 cattle used for research or submitted for necropsy

were examined and 53 were found to be tuberculous. M. bovis was isolated from 20 of 38 deer samples

and 245 of 2,076 badger samples submitted. Lymphatic tissue from 15 bovine animals was cultured for

Brucella abortus and the organism was not isolated.

Pathology

Annual Report 2011

Pathology Division comprises three Sections – Histopathology Section (incorporating the TSE national

Reference Laboratory), Dublin Regional Veterinary Laboratory, and Clinical Chemistry Section. The

primary role of the Division is to provide diagnostic pathology expertise in support of animal health

issues. It also provides project management for the Veterinary Laboratory Service LIMS - which is

networked throughout the Department’s veterinary laboratories.

The Division has a Quality Management System based on the ISO17025 standard that meets the

requirements of the National Accreditation Board (INAB) and other relevant regulatory requirements.

The scope of accreditation currently covers two molecular biology tests for TSE confirmatory diagnosis.

Work is ongoing to extend the scope of accreditation to other testing activities in the Division including

histopathological techniques for the confirmatory diagnosis of BSE and scrapie and microbiological

confirmation of Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM).

Histopathology Section is responsible for the histological processing of all animal tissue sections within

the Veterinary Laboratory Service. In 2011, it processed approximately 19,000 slides with standard

staining methods and special staining techniques including immuno-histochemistry. As the NRL for TSEs,

it is also responsible for the confirmatory diagnosis of all suspect TSE cases identified in the State. In

2111, confirmatory diagnosis was carried out on samples from 25 bovines (22 clinical suspects and 3 from

active surveillance). BSE was confirmed in three animals. All three were from the active surveillance

program of rapid-testing. Forty cases of scrapie were confirmed and of these, 39 were classified as

classical scrapie, and one was classified as atypical scrapie.

The TSE NRL is also responsible for the approval and monitoring of private rapid-testing laboratories

(RTLs) carrying out screening tests for TSEs. Two existing laboratories were approved to extend their

scope to use additional tests (three in total) in 2011.All aspects of the NRL annual monitoring plan,

including unannounced inspection visits of the six RTLs, were completed.

Dublin Regional Veterinary Laboratory (Dublin RVL) is part of the Department’s national network of

Regional Veterinary Laboratories. It provids a diagnostic pathology service to the agriculture industry,

which in turn provides disease surveillance information for all stakeholders. The passive surveillance


52


goal two

Annual Report 2011

information gained from this diagnostic service included the detection of a number of notifiable diseases

in the catchment area of Dublin RVL. In 2011 it detected Mycobacterium bovis in feral deer, Johnes disease

and Salmonella typhimurium in bovines, swine influenza (H1N1) and Salmonella typhiumurium in pigs,

Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Infectious Laryngotracheitis in domestic poultry, Salmonella typhimurium

and PMV1 virus in other birds and Trichinella spiralis in a wild fox. Other endemic diseases diagnosed and

their relative frequency was included in the figures for all six Regional Veterinary Laboratories to be

collated into the annual All-Island Disease Surveillance report. The Dublin RVL also provided support for

the Department’s statutory disease control and eradication schemes, including TSEs, tuberculosis, and

brucellosis in its catchment area. This included diagnosis of tuberculosis infection in wildlife species and

in providing support for Bacteriology in the assay of tuberculins, which is used for the national tuberculin

testing scheme. Dublin was one of the RVLs where the emerging disease of calves, Bovine Neonatal

Pancytopenia (BNP), was diagnosed in 2011.

Clinical Chemistry Section performs metal, metabolite, and enzyme analyses on animal blood and tissues

to diagnose animal diseases. In 2011, it performed in excess of 5,000 tests on blood and tissue samples.

Veterinary Public Health Regulatory Laboratory

The VPHRL is accredited to ISO 17025, with 31 analytical tests covering residue, microbiological and

parasitological analysis currently on its scope.

National Residue Plan

The testing under the NRP covers 18 distinct residue groups (each residue group is in turn comprised of

a number of sub-groups) which fall into three broad categories: banned substances such as growthpromoting

hormones and beta-agonists, approved veterinary medicines and finally, environmental

contaminants. VPHRL organises the collection and transport of the National Residue Plan samples from

sampling points across the country and during 2011, in excess of 11,000 samples from food of animal

origin were tested in the VPHRL. The majority of these samples are taken on the basis of standard

targeting criteria with further samples taken where a residue positive outcome is suspected. In these

latter cases, the animals concerned are withheld from the food chain, pending the outcome of the test.

In 2011, the level of non-compliant samples was 23 which continues the trend of low levels of residues in

Irish produced food of animal origin over the past number of years. The breakdown of non-compliant

samples is as follows: 7 were confirmed non-compliant for Antibiotics, 12 for Thyrostats (Thiouracil) and

3 for Chemical Elements and 1 for β-agonists.

A breakdown of the total number of samples screened under the 2011 National Residue Plan is as follows:

Species/Animal Produce No. of analysed samples

Bovine 4408

Porcine 739

Ovine 1126

Poultry 260

Equine 88

Farmed Deer 69

Wild Deer 98

Wild Birds 10

Eggs 3

Milk 375

Honey 10

Water 9

Suspect Antibiotics 3623

Suspect Honey 6

Surveillance β-agonists 300

BIPs 19

Total 11143


53


goal two

Ireland’s Residue Plan for 2011 were submitted to and approved by the relevant European Commission

services within the deadlines specified under the Directive.

Microbiology

VPHRL provides laboratory support to the inspectorate based at meat plants, ensuring compliance with

national and international standards of food safety and hygiene. Over 1627 official samples of meat and

meat products were taken at the point of manufacture and tested for a range of microbiological tests

in 2011. Of these samples, 7 were positive for Salmonella, 1 was positive for E coli and 1 was positive for

Listeria. In addition over 401 official samples of water were tested for a range of physico-chemical and

microbiological properties. Of these 26 samples contained Coliforms, 8 samples with Faecal enterococci,

4 with E. coli and 3 with Clostridia perfringens. Official samples for monitoring animal by-products for

Enterobacteriacae and E. coli also commenced in 2011.

Trichinella

Testing on 3,700 samples of Porcine and 140 Equine samples were carried out in 2011 as part of the official

monitoring programme. There were no positive results.

Chemistry

93 ham and bacon products were tested for nitrate and nitrate levels in 2011 as part of the official

monitoring programme. Of these, 7 were nitrate non-compliant.

In addition to routine testing, the VPHRL is the NRL for 6 groups of residues (Antithyroid agents (A2),

Beta-agonists (A5), Chloramphenicol (A6), Antibacterial substances incl. sulphonamides & quinolones

(B1), Carbadox (B2f), Chemical Elements (B3c)) and also for Trichinella testing. As part of its NRL

responsibilities VPHRL provided ring trials for official laboratories under its supervision and performed

audits of Trichinella testing laboratories. EU-RL meetings were attended with relevant information

disseminated to official laboratories. The VPHRL successfully completed proficiency tests organised by

the European Union Reference Laboratories and other commercial proficiency testing schemes.

Agriculture Laboratories

Annual Report 2011

Dairy Science Laboratories

The Dairy Science Laboratory service comprises three laboratories, located at Backweston, Cork and

Limerick. The laboratories provide microbiological and chemical testing services for milk/ milk product

samples taken from dairy food business operators. The work of the laboratories also underpins the

certification of dairy products for export.

Official control samples

In 2011, the Dairy Science Laboratory service carried out analysis on 9,093 samples for monitoring under

food safety, water and animal-by-product legislation. As a result, the following notifications were issued:

● 19 Food Safety hazard notifications

● 59 Process Hygiene criteria non-conformances

● 7 Phosphatase/peroxidase criteria non-conformances

● 63 non-conformance reports in relation to water samples

● 6 non-conformances reports in relation to animal-by-products samples.

The three laboratories have Quality Management Systems in place based on the ISO17025:2005 standard

to meet the requirements of the National Accreditation Board (INAB). In 2011, the three laboratories

continued to maintain and extend their scopes of accreditation to this ISO standard and collectively the

three laboratories have 44 accredited test methods across several matrices.


54


goal two

In addition to the analysis detailed above, testing of over 1,900 samples was also undertaken for other

chemical and compositional parameters in relation to dairy products. Participation in inter- laboratory

trials organised by European Union Reference Laboratories was also undertaken.

National Reference Laboratory (NRL)

The Backweston Dairy Science Laboratory operates as the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for

Listeria monocytogenes, coagulase positive Staphylococci in food products and Total Bacterial Count and

Somatic Cell Count in raw milk.

As part of the NRL function, Listeria monocytogenes isolates collected from official control and

commercial laboratories are typed and characterised. In 2011, 485 isolates were typed. The NRL also

commenced typing of coagulase positive staphylococci for staphylococcal enterotoxin encoding genes.

The NRL provides a service to official control laboratories for the detection of staphylococcal

enterotoxins in food. In 2011, the NRL also participated in an EU baseline study on shelf life in foods.

Over the period of the study, 200 samples were analysed from the food categories smoked/ gravid fish,

soft/ semi soft cheeses and ready-to- eat meals .

Plant Health, Seed Testing and Pesticide Laboratory

Annual Report 2011

Plant Health

Horticultural pathology includes tests for quarantine organisms as detailed in Commission Directive

2000/29/EC. The main test conducted was for Phytophthora spp. (850) on woody ornamentals and tree

species, of which 104 tested positive for P. ramorum. Phytophthora kernoviae was detected on 12 samples

submitted for testing. As in former years Rhododendron spp. represented the majority of positive

samples. Positives on Larix and Viburnum spp. samples were also significant while positives on Vaccinium

and Choisyia were also observed for the first time. Testing was also done for fungal, viral and

bacteriological pathogens citrus, strawberry, camellia, beet and solanaceous crops.

The Plant Health Laboratory increased the range of pests tested for in 2011 by introducing an entomology

service. It also augmented its involvement in research through participation in the FP7 funded

EUPHRESCO II EraNET and as a partner in the COFORD funded PHYTOFOR project which, in partnership

with Teagasc, UCD, UL and AFBI, aims to investigate the epidemiology and control of P. ramorum and

P. kernoviae in Irish forests

Seed Testing

The Seed Testing Laboratory provides a seed testing service to the Department, seed merchants,

farmers, growers and forest nurseries. It is accredited by the International Seed Testing Association

(ISTA). Most agricultural and horticultural seeds, are required to be officially tested for purity and

germination to ensure they meet minimum legal standards before they are placed on the market. Circa

10,600 tests, on cereals, grasses, pulses, forage crops, vegetables, trees, etc were completed during

2011. Approximately 69% of these tests were for germination, 18% for purity, 6% for seed viability

(tetrazolium), 4% seed pathology with the remaining 3% of tests comprised of advisory tests such as

moisture, other seed determination, thousand seed weight, etc.

Pesticide Laboratories

The pesticide laboratories are the accredited National Reference Laboratories for pesticides in fruit and

vegetables, cereals, food with high fat content and for single residue methods.


55


goal two

Annual Report 2011

Residues

In 2011, the pesticide laboratories carried out the testing required under the pesticide residue monitoring

programme agreed under the DAFM/FSAI service contract. This involved analysing 1,026 samples of

fruit, vegetables, cereals and processed products for residues of up to 330 pesticides and metabolites

and 418 samples of food of animal origin for residues of up to 300 different pesticides and marker PCB’s.

The Maximum Residues Level (MRLs) for pesticide residues in food were exceeded in 33 samples and

action taken. Acting on behalf of the Department in 2011, 209 samples of animal feed were analysed for

seven PCB’s used as markers for the presence of dioxins and 30 samples of animal feed were analysed

for pesticide residues. Residues of chlormequat and mepiquat were sought in 172 samples of fruit and

vegetables during 2011.

Formulation

The Pesticide Formulation Laboratory provides the analytical support necessary to assure the quality of

plant protection products on the Irish market. In 2011, the laboratory participated successfully in 8

collaborative studies aimed at developing and validating methods for the analysis of these products.

172 samples of plant protection products were analysed to check that the composition of these products

complied with the authorised product specifications. Of the samples analysed, some 5 (2.9%) were out

of specification.


56


goal three

Annual Report 2011

GOAL 3

Rural Economy, Marine and Environment

Performance Budgeting for Goal 3

Promoting Sustainable Farming

Climate Change

Bioenergy

Seafood

Fisheries Management and

Conservation

Fishery Harbour and Infrastructural

Development programme


57


goal three

Annual Report 2011

2010 Provisional Outturn 2011 Estimate

Current Capital Total Current Capital Total

€000 €000 €000 €000 €000 €000

C.1 - ADMINISTRATION - PAY 42,212 - 42,212 40,856 - 40,856

C.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON-PAY 9,224 204 9,428 10,811 251 11,062

C.3 - RURAL ENVIRONMENT 323,797 - 323,797 337,000 - 337,000

C.4 - LAND MOBILITY (EARLY RETIREMENT / INSTALLATION 32,633 2,522 35,155 35,000 960 35,960

AID SCHEMES)

Performance budgeting for Goal 3

C - RURAL ECONOMY & ENVIRONMENT

High Level Goal: “promote environmentally sustainable farming and fishing while supporting the rural

and coastal economy”..

Inputs - Financial & Human Resources

C.5 - DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD 679 314,384 315,063 970 72,370 73,340

C.6 - FORESTRY AND BIOENERGY 5,242 115,370 120,612 5,470 114,350 119,820

C.7 - FISHERIES 104 10,512 10,616 410 17,427 17,837

C.8 - SEA FISHERIES PROTECTION AUTHORITY 9,304 2,020 11,324 8,875 2,020 10,895

C.9 - OTHER SERVICES 1,257 - 1,257 1,114 - 1,114

Programme Total:- 424,452 445,012 869,464 440,506 207,378 647,884

of which pay 49,125 47,724

Staff Numbers 2010 2011

DAFM 787 781

Sea Fisheries 99 87

Protection Authority


58


goal three Key Outputs

Public Service Activity:

Implementing the 2007-2013 Rural

Development Programme with an

emphasis on compettiveness and

sustainability

Promoting and implementing

specific measures supporting

environmentally sustainable

agriculture and fisheries

Progress development of fisheries

sector including the Harbour

Development Programme

Contributing to the development of

the whole of Government policies on

Climate Change, Water Quality and

Biodiversity,etc which impact on the

agri-food, forestry and fisheries

sectors.

2010 outputs

● Revised RDP approved

● EU funds fully drawn down in 2010.

● Bio energy, sow welfare, poultry

welfare and sheep handing schemes

launched

● Mid term evaluation completed and

submitted to the EU.

● 9,236 applicants received for Agri-

Environment Options Scheme

● Payments made in respect of 8,314

hectares of new forestry planting.

● 2010 Bioenergy Scheme successfully

completed

● Full Cross Compliance inspections for

2010 completed including 1,500

Nitrates Inspections for Local

Authorities.

● Organic farming systems operating on

52,821 hectares

● 2 key projects at Dinish Wharf and

Rossaveel delivered under the

Fishery Harbour Programme

● Aquaculture and seafood processing

sectors supported by grant aid of

€1.2m

● Environmental data and assessments

undertaken to support fisheries and

aquaculture compliance in Natura

sites.

● Participates at UNFCCC negotiations

at Conference 16 of the Parties in

Cancun.

● Second Nitrates Action Programme

agreed.

● Nitrates Derogation renewed and

amending regulations introduced

2011 output targets

● Continue implementation of

amended RDP including launch of

Dairy Investment and Water

Harvesting schemes.

● Achieve full draw down of EU funding

● Ongoing management, evaluation

and amendment, if necessary, of RDP

● Secure payment of outstanding

balance under structural funds

● Continue to manage 2010 AEOS

contracts.

● Achieve a target of 7,500 hectares of

new forestry planting

● Further expansion in hectares of

energy crops established under the

Bioenergy Scheme

● Carry out 1,300 full cross compliance

inspections in addition to 1,500 Local

Authority Inspections.

● Complete essential safety &

maintenance works at each of the six

Fishery Harbour Centres.

● Fulfill contractual commitments at

Castletownbere and Ros An Mhíl

Fishery Harbour Centres

● Continue to participate effectively in

negotiations and policy discussions at

national, EU and international levels.

● Participate at UNFCCC negotiations

at Conference of the Parties 17 in

Durban and input to agreed UNFCCC

text on agriculture.

● Effectively input into the Second

National Biodiversity Plan.


59


goal three

1

2

3

4

Employment in Agrifood,

fishing and

forestry sector (CSO

Data ) latest available

Q3 2010

Gross value added of

agriculture, forestry

and fishing to the

overall economy

Increase in area of biocrops

Increase in area of land

under forestry

2008

175,700

(Q3)

Context and

Impact indicators

€3,688m €3,555m

(preliminary

data)

903ha

(+ 132% )

1,584ha

6248ha (-11%)

730,500ha

2009

148,300

(Q3)

877 (- 2.8% )

2,461ha

6648ha (+6% )

737,142 ha

2010

139,100

(Q3)

Not yet

available

325ha

(- 63% )

2,786 ha

8,314 (+25%)

745,456ha


60


goal three

5

6

7

8

Increase in area of land

farmed organically

Changes in agriculture

related Greenhouse Gas

emmissions from 1990

baseline (19.9mt) as

measured by the EPA

Changes in ammonia

(NH3) emmissions

from 2000 baseline

(121.4) as measured by

the EPA

Changes in water

quality as indicated by

EPA

2008

9% increase

total

44,751ha

18.4million

tonnes (mt)

CO2eq.

2006

109.81

2004-2006

River water 71.4%

unpolluted,

Lake surface area

91.9% satisfactory

2009

10% increase,

total 49,

165ha

18.13mt

CO2eq. the

latest data

available)

2007

105.5

2007-2208

river water

70.% unpolluted,

Lake surface area

90.4% satisfactory

Annual Report 2011

2010

7% increase,

total

52,821ha

2008

103.84

(latest data available

2009-2010

not available


61


Minister Coveney on

visit to Teagasc

Agricultural

Catchment site in

Cork

PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE FARMING

Rural Development Programme 2007 – 2013 (RDP)

Expenditure under the Programme in the period from 2007 to 2011 amounts to around €3.1 billion. This

represents around 63% of the total value of the Programme which is €4.9 billion.

Ireland has continued to fully draw down the allocated EU RDP funds annually to support the various

schemes – Early Retirement Scheme, Farm Modernisation, Young Farmers Installation Aid Scheme (these

schemes are closed to new applicants), Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), Less

Favoured Areas (LFAs), Natura 2000 and Agri-environmental measures. During 2011 TAMS was

temporarily suspended but fully re-opened in December 2011.

Amendments to the RDP

In 2011 two further amendments to the Programme were approved by the European Commission. One

involved an extension of the eligibility period to the end of September 2012 under the poultry welfare

scheme for the installation of the required enriched bird cages. The other was to demonstrate that there

was no element of overcompensation between the Grassland Sheep Scheme/ Burren Life Scheme and

the Pillar 2 schemes LFAs / REPs / AEOS and to allow for the application of fertilisers in the case of the

Species Rich Grassland measure under the AEOS scheme.

Post 2013 Rural Development Programme

In October 2011 the Commission published new proposals for Rural Development for the period 2014-

2020. For the EAFRD, the Commission are proposing to focus on competitiveness, innovation, climate

change, the environment and territorial development. These proposals must be read in conjunction with

the Common Strategic Framework [CSF] proposals as the CSF proposals encompass overarching

obligations across a total of 6 EU Funds – EAFRD, European Regional Development Fund, European

Social Fund, Cohesion Fund, European Territorial Fund and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

The rural development proposals include support for knowledge transfer, competitiveness and

enhancement of farm viability, development of food chain organisations, enhancement of ecosystems,

development of a low carbon and climate resilient economies, economic development in rural areas,


62


goal three

inclusive of support for LEADER. The EAFRD proposals also provide for thematic sub-programmes for

particular sectors i.e. young farmers, small farms, mountain areas and short supply chain. Discussions are

ongoing on these proposals. Distribution of EAFRD funding has not yet been determined. It is proposed

to distribute funding on the basis of past performance and objective criteria. The use of objective criteria

could be problematic depending on the type criteria involved. Ireland’s main focus is to maintain its

current share of EU funding which is €2.4 billion over a seven year period under the current round.

Rural Environment Management Scheme (REPS)

REPs is an agri-environment measure to encourage farmers to go beyond basic good farming practices and

to farm in a way that benefits the landscape, biodiversity and water quality. Participants must comply with

11 basic compulsory measures and also engage in at least two out of a range of 25 undertakings designed to

increase biodiversity at farm level. Farmers can also choose up to two supplementary measures targeted at

enhancing the environment. These measures cover a range of activities such as conservation of wild bird

habitats, planting of traditional Irish orchards, riparian zones, minimum tillage, sustainable grazing.

REPS also includes a traditional farm buildings measure which helps to preserve our built heritage by

ensuring that a number of buildings of historical and architectural value are maintained into the future.

The Heritage Council administers the measure on behalf of the Department.

About 1.26 million hectares, or 29%, of Ireland’s agricultural area is being farmed to REPS standard of

which 169,133 hectares is Natura or commonage land. More than half of all REPS participants are located

in counties along the western seaboard with 21% located in counties Galway and Mayo.

REPS 3 finished at the end of 2011 and 30,000 farmers continue to participate in REPS 4. In 2011, €260m was

paid to 31,991 REPS participants, with €207 m of this paid in REPS 4. The average REPS payment is €6,200.

Agri Environment Options Scheme (AEOS)

The Agri Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) which takes a more targeted approach than REPS, is

designed to promote biodiversity, encourage water quality/ management, combat climate change and

to contribute to positive environmental management of farmed Natura 2000 sites and river catchments.

The Scheme offers an opportunity to those leaving the REPS to continue to adopt environmental actions.

AEOS offers farmers a selection of actions which can be carried out on part of the farm, rather than the

whole farm approach as was the case in REPS. Almost 9,000 applicants have been awarded 5 year agrienvironment

contracts and payments commenced to them in 2011. In addition, AEOS II was launched

in March 2011 and out of the 6,894 applications, 6,615 were approved into that scheme.

Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS)

Annual Report 2011

The remaining elements of the TAMS, namely, the Dairy Equipment Scheme and the Rainwater

Harvesting Scheme, were introduced in March 2011. However, pending the outcome of the

comprehensive review of departmental expenditure, all the TAMS were suspended for new applications

on 8 June 2011. Sufficient funding became available to enable approvals to be issued to all farmers who

had submitted eligible applications under the TAMS prior to its suspension. The TAMS were reopened

for applications in December 2011 following completion of the expenditure review and the publication

of the Department’s Estimates for 2012.

Environmental Impact Assessment

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a judgement against Ireland in November 2008 in relation to

the implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive. The Court found that

Ireland was overly reliant on size thresholds to determine if an EIA was required for certain projects,

and did not take sufficient account of other relevant criteria such as the nature, location and cumulative

effects of those projects.


63


goal three

The judgement related to three categories of activities:

1. The restructuring of rural land holdings (which includes the combining of fields, the removal of

hedgerows and stone walls or the re-contouring of land e.g. by infill)

2. The use of uncultivated land or semi-natural areas for intensive agriculture

3. Water management projects for agriculture, including irrigation and land drainage

In June 2011, the European Commission lodged an application with the ECJ to initiate second proceedings

against Ireland for failing to implement the ECJ ruling. Ireland was facing the application of significant

lump-sum and daily penalty fines until the infringement ended.

The Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government (DECLG), the lead Department with

responsibility for this issue, consulted with this Department to find a resolution to the case. It was agreed that

certain activities covered by the judgment would more appropriately be regulated by DAFM to provide a

more accessible and timely screening and consent process for farmers. Projects relating to the drainage and

reclamation of wetlands were retained by DECLG within the Local Authority planning system.

Both Departments introduced legislation to give effect to these decisions in September 2011. It is

considered that the changes to the legislation strike a balance between implementing fully the

requirements under the EIA Directive, and the need for a sensible approach to protecting the

environment from the effects of agricultural development.

Following the introduction of these regulations, a consultation period on the draft Guidance Document

supporting the new regulations was launched. A significant number of submissions were received and

following their consideration, the EIA Guide for Farmers, which support the regulations and provide

farmers with practical and understandable information, was published in December 2011.

The first application under the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Agriculture)

Regulations (S.I. No 456 of 2011), was received by DAFM in early October 2011. Twenty four applications

were received in total to the end of the year.

Agricultural

Catchments Programme

Annual Report 2011

The Agricultural Catchment Programme (ACP) was established as part of Ireland's National Action

Programme to assess the effectiveness of the measures set out in the Nitrates Regulations. The

Programme, which is managed by Teagasc, established six agricultural catchment areas (two in county

Wexford and one in counties Louth, Cork, Mayo and Monaghan). These are representative of different

soil types, levels of intensity and fertilisation practices, and include farms that availed of a derogation

under the regulations. The ACP is the only monitoring programme actually measuring the water quality

in wholly agricultural areas where derogation approved farming is taking place, which is a requirement

under the Commission Decision.

Following its initial four year duration, funding has now been committed for the second four year period

from 2012 to 2015 to build a body of scientific evidence which will contribute to sound agricultural policy.

The new scientific knowledge being generated by the ACP will be critical to the sustainable expansion

of Irish milk and meat production from grass and towards achieving the ambitious growth targets of

Food Harvest 2020. 64


goal three

Annual Report 2011

An Expert Steering Group (ESG) comprising national and international experts, guides the strategic

direction of the Programme and is assisted by a Consultative Group which is representative of the main

farming bodies.

Cross Compliance Checks

EU cross compliance means that farmers must comply with 18 Statutory Management Requirements

(SMRs) on the Environment, Public Good, Animal and Plant health, and Animal Welfare as well as

maintaining their land in good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC). These requirements are

monitored by mandatory inspections on between 1-3% of farms annually and are an effective means of

protecting the environment and ensuring that farmers implement a wide range of public good

regulations.

The areas of poor non- compliance in 2011 were as follows:

Table 3.1 Main Cross Compliance Irregularities

Area Overall Irregularities

Non-Compliance

Bovine (Cattle) 35% AIM (43%), Tagging (22%), Passports (21%), Herd Register (14%)

GAEC 22% Rutting/poaching of pasture (29%), Invasive species (26%),

Noxious weeds (18%), Poaching (8%), Soil Organic Matter (7%),

Stock proof boundaries (5%), Damage/removal of Habitats (3%),

Inadequate land management (3%), Other (1%)

Fertiliser Usage

Following the 21% increase in fertiliser sales in 2010,primarily from lower fertiliser prices, fertiliser sales

fell in 2011; see table following.

Table 3.2 Fertiliser Consumption

Tonnes of Nutrients

Year Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium

2005 352165 38645 100710

2006 345154 37209 92880

2007 321588 32415 84737

2008 308960 26350 69584

2009 306806 20231 52403

2010 362395 29339 74899

2011 313649 28775 72995

Peak Annual Use (Since 1989-90)

98-99 442,916

89-90 64,573

89-90 158,432


65


goal three

Forestry

Annual Report 2011

Forests cover just over 10% of the land area of the country. This is one of the lowest levels in Europe,

where the average is closer to 40%. Forest cover in Ireland increased from approximately 480,000

hectares in 1990 to some 750,000 hectares in 2011, one of the highest levels of increase in forest cover

among developed countries. The level of afforestation (new planting) over the period 2007-2011 is shown

in Table 3.3.

Table 3.3 Afforestation levels 2007-2011 (hectares)

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

6,947 6,249 6,648 8,314 6,653

The planting and growing sectors have been supported by grant and premium schemes to the value of

€669 million during the period 2005 to 2010. The schemes have led to the establishment of over 16,000

private forest plantations, the majority of which are owned by farmers who have begun the process of

entering the forest economy. Forestry activity enhances the rural environment and provides employment

in areas where there can be few alternatives. Visits to forests generate an estimated €268 million annually

in local communities.

Review of Forest Policy

The Renewed Programme for Government (October 2009) included a commitment that State policy on

forestry should be reviewed to take account of its role in relation to climate change, construction, bioenergy,

bio-diversity and its potential to deliver long-term employment in other downstream industries.

The review included a separate examination of the role, function and operations of Coillte Teoranta. This

element of the work is being held pending major Cabinet decisions on Coillte and funding. The other

aspects of the review are expected to be completed in 2012.

Changes to Grants and Premiums

A number of changes to grants and premiums were announced in late December 2010 and were applied

to financial approvals issued from 1 January 2011. The principal changes included an average 13% reduction

in grant rates; a reduction in planting densities for certain broadleaf plantations; the removal of the area

based differential for payment of premium; a 30% reduction in the premium rate for unenclosed land; and

planting of unenclosed land limited to 20% of the total area in any application for financial approval.

Land and Forest Fires

There were a number of serious outbreaks of land and forest fires during 2011. An extensive nationwide

publicity campaign was commenced in 2011 to alert farmers and landowners to the dangers of

uncontrolled burning of agricultural land. This was one of the recommendations of the Land and Forest

Fires Working Group which was established by the Department in June 2010 following significant losses

due to fires in Spring 2010. It produced 9 further recommendations to tackle the problem of illegal and

uncontrolled burning, one of which was the publicity campaign.

The campaign ran throughout 2011 and consisted of print ads in the national farming press, as well as in

farming and forestry publications, and presentations and information at agricultural /forestry shows and

the National Ploughing Championships. This campaign will continue in 2012. Another recommendation

of the Group is the publication of a set of guidelines in 2012 to advise farmers on all aspects of controlled

burning, including planning, safety, notification and the legal requirements. A shortened version of this

will be distributed to farmers in areas identified as having a high risk of fire.


66


goal three

Forest Protection

Following the first detection in 2010 of outbreaks of Phytophthora ramorum disease in Japanese larch

forests, surveys of the national forest estate continued throughout 2011 and the surveys were extended

to all larch species. In addition to the national ground surveys, an aerial survey was carried out with the

assistance of the Irish Air Corps.

During 2011 P. ramorum was detected in Japanese larch in 2 new forest locations. Further outbreaks

were detected adjacent to 3 felled areas which had been found to be infected in 2010. At the end of 2011

the total number of confirmed locations of P. ramorum infection in Japanese larch forests was 13

accounting for findings in 6 counties, namely Wicklow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Cork and Kerry.

This amounts to a total area of approximately 140 ha. There have also been associated findings in other

tree species. During 2011 P. ramorum was additionally detected on wild rhododendron at 3 new forest

locations bringing the total number of infected rhododendron forest sites to 16. Management of the P.

ramorum outbreaks will continue to be a priority for the Forest Service in 2012.

Forestry Producer Groups

The organisation of individual forestry owners into forestry producer groups is an important element of

the Forest Service / Teagasc forestry promotion programme and continued to be supported and

facilitated during 2011. A Forest Owners Group Workshop, organised by Teagasc and the Forest Service,

was held in Scariff, Co. Clare in October 2011. The annual workshop acts as a forum for the various forest

owner groups to come together to exchange their experiences and ideas and to receive new and

updated information on a range of relevant topics from forest management to business planning. At

the end of 2011, there were 23 Forest Owner Groups in existence, all with the support and involvement

of Teagasc. The support and facilitation of such groups will remain a major focus of the Teagasc Forestry

Development Department during 2012.

COFORD

Annual Report 2011

A new COFORD research and development advisory council was appointed for a three year term in

December 2011, under the chairmanship of Mr Michael Lynn of Woodfab Timber Ltd. The membership is

drawn from the public and private sectors, covering the forest sector production chain. It has issued

two publications: the All Ireland Roundwood Production Forecast 2011-2028 and the All Ireland Roundwood

Demand Forecast 2011-2020 (both publications are available at www.coford.ie).

The National Forest Inventory

During 2011, the Forest Service progressed work on the second cycle of Ireland’s National Forest

Inventory (NFI). Results of Ireland’s first NFI were published in 2007. The purpose of the NFI is to record

and assess the current extent, state and composition of Ireland’s forest resource, both public and private,

in a timely, accurate and reproducible manner. Field data collection is due to be completed in 2012. Data

analysis and reporting will take place in 2013. Changes in the forest estate between first and second

assessments will facilitate the monitoring of sustainable forest management and will provide information

on growing stock, harvest levels, deadwood, species composition, plant diversity, forest health and

carbon stocks.

Organic Farming

While showing a steady growth over the past five years, at the end of 2011, the land area under organic

production methods equated to just under 1.2 % of agricultural land which is considerably less than the

previous Government’s target of 5% by the end of 2012. The Irish organic retail market was estimated to

be worth almost €100 million in 2011.


67


goal three

Table 3.5. Organic Farming Operators and Hectarage

Annual Report 2011

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

1,270 1,334 1,450 1,548 1,622 1,721

(40,000ha.) (41,122ha.) (44,571ha.) (49.165 ha.) (52,370ha) (52,390)

A range of organic events took place in 2011 to raise awareness on organic farming. In February, 2011 Bord

Bia and BIM co-ordinated Ireland’s participation at Biofach. Biofach is an most important international

trade event for organic food industry professionals and companies. Those attending the event, both

from Europe and further afield, are predominantly purchasing decision-makers from the retail,

foodservice and distribution sectors.

Other events included Bord Bia’s National Organic Marketing Conference in June, National Organic Week,

National Organic Awards and Teagasc’s National Organic Conference in September. In 2011, the

demonstration organic farms programme which involved 19 farms covering a range of different

enterprises, continued to attract interest.

Organic capital grant schemes under the RDP continued to provide grant aid for investments by farmers

and processors in facilities and equipment. Grant aid of 40% of the cost up to a maximum of €60,000 in

the case of on-farm investments and €0.5m. for investments off-farm is available. Grant aid amounting

to just over €540,000 was awarded in 2011.

Genetic Resources

The National Advisory Committee for Genetic Resources in Food and Agriculture publishes an annual

call for proposals in relation to the conservation of both plant and animal genetic resources and allocates

funding to successful projects from a budget provided by DAFM. The Advisory Committee comprises

experts representing stakeholder bodies from a broad spectrum of backgrounds in Ireland including

government departments, research and third level institutes, non-government organizations and farming

bodies. In 2011, 12 projects on conservation of plant and animal genetic resources were awarded a total

of €135,000.

CLIMATE CHANGE

The natural processes associated with food production lead to emissions of methane, mainly from enteric

fermentation in ruminant animals and nitrous oxide from the use of manure on soils. Carbon stored in

trees, soils and wood products is another important natural process in the carbon cycle and an important

reservoir at the global level.

In 1990, agriculture produced 35.9% of Ireland’s total emissions. This level has declined both in real terms

and as a proportion of Ireland’s total emissions. For the period 2008-12, the proportion of emissions from

the sector has fallen to 30% due mainly to improvements in production efficiency which enabled a

reduction in livestock numbers and a decline in fertilizer use. However, an increase in emissions from the

agriculture sector is projected by 2020 with the achievement of the growth targets set in Food Harvest

2020. The increase in afforestation since 1990 has resulted in the level of compliance-eligible carbon

sequestration reaching 2.9 million tonnes 1 per annum in the 2008-12 period.

I reland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Projections 2011-2020 (EPA, April 2012)


68


goal three

Annual Report 2011

In addition to the carbon sequestered by forests, there is research indicating that there is substantial

carbon sequestered in Irish soils. This arises due to the good management of Irish grassland soils and

contributes to the low carbon footprint of food produced in Ireland. However, as Ireland has not elected

cropland or grazing land management over the 2008-2012 commitment period, any increases in soil

carbon are not currently accounted for. DAFM, in conjunction with other agencies, is examining the

implications of the legislative proposal published by the EU Commission in March 2012 in relation to Land

Use, Land Use change and Forestry (LULUCF). The proposal does not provide for the use of LULUCF for

compliance with 2020 targets. DAFM through DECLG are engaging with the EU Commission on this issue.

The National Climate Change Strategy (2007) published by the Department of the Environment, Heritage

and Local Government sets out measures to enable Ireland to meet its legally binding commitments for

2008-2012 under the Kyoto Protocol. In November 2011 DECLG announced a review of national climate

policy for the period beyond 2012. This review includes an independent study by the National Economic

and Social Council and a review of sectoral mitigation potential. DAFM is engaged in this process. In

parallel, the EU has agreed an overall 20% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (compared to 1990

levels) by 2020. This is reflected in the Climate Change and Energy Security Package 2008 under which

Ireland must reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the areas of the economy not covered by the ETS

by 20% (compared to 2005 levels) by 2020. Achieving these targets presents a challenge to all sectors of

the economy including the agriculture sector.

DAFM has committed €15.5m to climate change research projects since 2005 under the Research Stimulus

Fund and an additional €5m under the COFORD forest research programme, and continues to monitor

ongoing research at national, EU and international levels. As part of the Department’s 2012 research call,

€1.5m has been earmarked for funding a four year initiative to establish a Network of Irish investigators

in the field of agricultural climate change research.

DAFM is involved in the following collaborative initiatives:

● Ireland is a founder member of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas

Emissions, established in December 2009. DAFM and other Irish agricultural scientists are playing a

central role in a worldwide assessment of current research and technologies and defining the most

promising pathways for future research.

● Ireland is a founding partner of the recent United Nations FAO Partnership on Benchmarking and

Monitoring the Environmental Performance of Livestock Chains.

● DAFM has a significant involvement in the EU Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food

Security and Climate Change (known as FACCE), which aims, among other things, to facilitate the

conduct of research in these areas.

● DAFM is involved in the international negotiations on climate change under the UNFCCC (United

Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). At COP 17 in December 2011 a decision was made

to advance work on agriculture. This represents an important recognition of agriculture as part of

the UNFCCC process. Agreement was also reached on important new international rules for forest

carbon accounting in developed countries to cover the period post 2012. These will bring the full

forest area in Ireland under a UNFCCC accounting framework. Rules on the treatment of harvested

wood products were also agreed. DAFM is involved in ongoing work at UNFCCC level to progress

these issues and reporting modalities related to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and

Degradation (REDD) in developing countries.


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goal three

Bioenergy

Annual Report 2011

Bioenergy is the term used to describe renewable energy derived from biomass, (the biodegradable

portion of products and residues from agriculture), forestry and related industries. Ireland’s agriculture

and forest sectors have the potential to provide significant quantities of biomass materials that can be

utilised to meet the EU 2020 targets. Sources include dedicated energy crops such as miscanthus and

willow as well as forest-related biomass from thinnings, and harvesting and sawmilling residues.

Agriculture residues, including manures, straw, poultry litter, mushroom compost and tallow can also be

used for energy production. Teagasc and DAFM collaborated in organising the National Bioenergy

Conference 2011, held in April at the Tullamore Court Hotel.

Bioenergy use in Ireland is dominated by wood biomass, due primarily to the extensive use of processing

residues to produce thermal energy in the wood processing sectors and the increased use of wood fuels

for heat in industrial, commercial and residential buildings as a result of the switch to renewable energy

heating systems.

The price supports for bioenergy under REFIT, announced by the then Minister for Communications,

Energy and Natural Resources in May 2010, received approval from DG Comp in October 2011. The

technologies supported include Anaerobic Digestion CHP, Biomass CHP and Biomass Combustion

including provision for 30% co-firing of biomass at the three State owned peat power stations. It is

hoped that the increased demand for bioenergy resulting by these support measures will offer significant

opportunities for the agriculture sector by providing long term sustainable markets for bioenergy crops,

forest thinnings and residues from agriculture and forest harvesting operations.

It is estimated that the total potential demand for energy wood in 2011 will be in the region of 1.0 million

m3, increasing to c. 1.7m3 by 2020. The actual demand by 2020 will depend largely on the level of co-firing

of wood biomass for electricity generation, installed biomass-based CHP capacity, and the impact of any

new measures aimed at stimulating the increased use of energy wood. A growing international trade in

wood fuels is also likely to impact on demand for locally produced fuels.

On the supply side, COFORD estimates that up to 1.5 million m3 of wood fibre could potentially be

available for the renewable energy sector by 2020, increasing to 1.81 million m3 by 2027. The bulk of this

material will come from privately-owned farm forests.

Energy Crops

In 2011, the Department continued to support increased production of bioenergy from agriculture raw

materials. The Bioenergy Scheme 2011, which is 50% co-funded under the Rural Development Programme

of Ireland, was launched in late 2010 to build on the progress made in the 2010 Bioenergy Scheme and

the Exchequer funded pilot Bioenergy Scheme 2007-2009. In the region of €0.4m in establishment grants

was paid to farmers under the Bioenergy Schemes in 2011. This relates to first installment payments for

successful establishment of miscanthus and willow crops under the 2011 Scheme and also some

payments related to the successful establishment of crops under previous Schemes. Some 225 hectares

of crops were established under the 2011 Scheme to bring the total established under the Bioenergy

Schemes since 2007 to a level in excess of 3,000 hectares.

Animal By-Products (ABP)

Animal by-products (ABP) are defined as entire bodies or parts of animals, products of animal origin or

other products obtained from animals which are not intended for human consumption. Because of the

associated risk and to protect both human and animal health, the use of ABP is covered by

comprehensive EU Regulations (Nos 1069 of 2009 and 142 of 2011). These regulations ensure that ABP

is disposed of safely and controls are implemented to ensure this material is not illegally diverted back

into the human food chain.


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goal three

Annual Report 2011

The slaughter of animals in meat plants and on-farm animal deaths combined generate about half a

million tonnes each year of ABP. By and large this material is rendered to produce meat-and-bone-meal

(MBM) and tallow. There are other categories of ABP which do not spring directly from the meat

industry, which are more commonly used as feedstocks for composting. These include catering waste

and former foodstuffs in particular, which account for a very large portion of the 800,000 tonnes or

more of green and food waste arising in this country each year.

The Department provides financial support for the collection of certain fallen animals, in particular

bovines over 48 months of age, for sampling as required under the ongoing national BSE surveillance

programme. Selected numbers of sheep (10,000 pa) and goats (500 pa) are also being TSE tested under

the new arrangements. The Department has approved 40 knackeries under the ABP regulations for the

proper disposal of fallen animals.

Following extensive consultation with the trade and other stakeholders, the Department has over time

revised the national regulations relating to ABP in order to allow a wider range of safe disposal outlets

for ABP. This includes use of ABP as feedstock by the compost and biogas industries; and use of organic

fertilisers and soil improvers containing ABP on agricultural land. It is recognised that the

composting/biogas sector has the potential to play a significant role in achieving EU and national targets

to divert waste from landfill. Revised regulations require that the conditions of approval for these plants

must be updated and the consultative forum established some years ago continues to play an important

role in ensuring that the required standards for the industry are achieved.


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goal three

Seafood

HM Queen Elizabeth II at fish stall in Cork’s English Market .

The Irish seafood sector generated sales of up to €728 million in 2011 and provided approximately 11,000

jobs in coastal regions around the country. Almost 60% of the employment and value added value

created in the marine sector is located outside the most developed regions of the country, making the

seafood sector hugely important to maintaining economic viability in rural coastal communities.

Exports market grew to an estimated €420 million for 2011 up by 11% on 2010. Irish salmon (predominantly

organic) held its value in 2011 with exports estimated at €51 million, a marginal decrease in value of 7% on

2010 but a strong performance by Irish salmon given the global decline in the value of salmon in 2011.

Shellfish also performed well with exports worth an estimated €154 million, up 14% on 2010. Finally pelagic

exports, down by 12% in volume are showing an increase in value of 20% to €147 million in 2011, indicating

greater willingness in the market to pay for pelagic products.

The EU remained the main export destination for Irish seafood in 2011 accounting for some 80% while the

balance went to Russia, Africa and Asian markets. France accounted for 27% of exports followed by Spain

14%, UK 10%, Germany, Italy and Nigeria 6% and Russia 5%.

The sector experienced a difficult year on the Irish market in 2011 with total sales estimated at €308

million, down 7.5% on 2010. The economic situation and declining consumer purchasing power impacted

heavily on both retail and food service sectors. During 2011 the shift from salmon and prawns to cheaper

cod, coley and haddock continued. Allied to consumers buying cheaper seafood, there was also a trend

to purchase smaller portion sizes with continued growth in pre-packed products.

Food Harvest 2020 identifies the potential of the seafood industry to increase employment from the

present level of 11,000 to 14,000 full time equivalent jobs by 2020, mostly in peripheral coastal

communities. It also identifies the potential to increase turnover in the sector from €700 million to €1

billion by 2020.


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goal three

The Department and its agencies are pursuing three key strategies to grow the Irish seafood industry and

realise the potential identified in Food Harvest. These are - growing aquaculture production to increase

raw material supply to the processing sector, adding value to raw product and improving the scale and

competitiveness of the processing sector.

An additional €50 million in value added sales is seen as possible by 2013 and has been targeted through

a number of actions in 2011 that will continue into 2012. By encouraging the European fishing fleet to

partner with Irish processors, value can be added to raw material here rather than shipping direct to the

continent. Meetings were facilitated in 2011 between Irish processors and foreign fishing vessels

operating in Irish waters.

The Seafood Processing Investment Scheme operated by BIM supported value added investments in

the processing sector worth €7 million 2011, including State grant aid of €1.7 million. The 21 projects

supported are projected to generate 191 jobs and increased sales of €38 million by 2014. This scheme will

continue in 2012.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has identified a number of key challenges to be overcome if the potential

inherent in the Irish seafood sector is to be realised. These include:

● Recessionary effects – reduced prices for seafood, difficulties in obtaining working capital, increasing

interest rates;

● Access to the resource – a stronger emphasis on environmental protection and conservation;

● Lack of scale and inefficient logistics chain;

● The growth of low cost imports from countries operating from significantly lower cost bases and a

lack of differentiation of Irish seafood;

● Changing consumer preferences – a premium on convenience, versatility and price.

During 2011, BIM continued to deliver on the actions set out in its three year strategic plan and there

was close consultation with the key stakeholders across the sector.

Fisheries Management and Conservation

Annual Report 2011

The ten yearly review of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is scheduled for 2012. Following a nationwide

consultation process, Ireland submitted its views and recommendations on the Commission Green Paper

on the reform of the CFP. These covered

● A strategic focus on addressing discarding fish as sea and a complete ban for depleted stocks

● The retention of a management system based on national quotas

● A rejection of the mandatory privatisation of fish quotas or the introduction of international trading

of fish quotas,

● New measures to strengthen the market for EU producers and increase quay side prices;

● Reinvigoration of European aquaculture with increased structural support and a route for growth in

harmony with environmental law.

● New regional structure to decision making at EU level with increasing industry responsibility and the

development of a culture of compliance.

Commissioner Damanaki published proposals for a reform of the Common Fisheries Policy on 13th July

2011 which sets down a framework for EU fisheries policy 2013 to 2022. The proposal covers all aspects

of the CFP involving access to waters, conservation and management of the fish stocks, external fisheries

policy, aquaculture, market organisation and consultation mechanisms with stakeholders. The Minister

set out his initial reaction to the proposal at the July EU Fisheries Council where he welcomed many of

the objectives set down in the Commission's proposals, in particular those regarding bringing fish stocks


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goal three

Annual Report 2011

within sustainable levels, increasing the use of long term management plans, eliminating the wasteful

practice of discards and the greater integration of science in the decision making processes. However,

Minister pointed out that Ireland has significant issues with the Commission’s approach in respect of

the mandatory application of an Individual transferable quota system (ITQ), and concerns about

practicalities of the proposals on discards and regionalisation. Since the proposal was published, the

Minister has held discussions with Commissioner Damanaki and with other Ministers on issues of

common interest. The Department launched a Regulatory Impact Assessment process in the autumn

involving a full consultation with all stakeholders. This process will inform Ireland’s position on the reform

proposals. It is most likely that intensive negotiations will continue over the coming year and during

Ireland’s Presidency.

Total Allowable Catches (TACs)

In December the EU Fisheries Council agreed TACs and quotas for 2012.The negotiations delivered 141,000

tonnes of pelagic and tuna quotas and 36,000 tonnes of whitefish at a record value of €250m. Useful

groundwork was done in advance of the annual EU negotiations, as a Sustainability Impact Assessment

on TACs and quotas for 2012, was completed and presented to the Dail by the Minister on 23rd

November. The Assessment provided specific data on a range of species and agreed with the need to

cut the quotas for some of the stocks in 2012, though the level of these cuts is queried in some cases,

while in others there is clear scientific data to suggest that a cut is unwarranted. In other cases, the

available evidence is that an increase in the TAC was justified.

The Minister’s consultations were informed by the Assessment and the Dail debate. The Minister met

and discussed the Commission proposals with all stakeholders and discussed and consulted on the issues

arising with them during the Fisheries Council negotiations. The TACs and quotas set reflected the good

state of certain fish stocks in the Celtic Sea in respect of which Member States committed to introduce

more selective fishing gears in order to reduce juvenile fish discards during 2012. It also reflects a

substantial increase in quota for the new boarfish fishery, where Ireland is the major shareholder.

At EU level there were intensive negotiations in relation to the management of the mackerel stock

involving Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Mackerel is Ireland’s most important fishery

economically and efforts to deliver proper management arrangements have been vigorously pursued by

Minister over the year. A series of meeting were held during 2011 to try to bring a resolution to a long

standing disagreement on the management of this highly important stock. Iceland and the Faroe Islands

for the past 2-3 years have been operating unilaterally. Their fishing levels, which are likely to have been

over 300,000 tonnes in 2011, are completely unsustainable and outside of normal internationally

recognised management protocols for migratory stocks such as mackerel.

A continuation of the current impasse will ultimately result in a depletion of the mackerel stock with

resultant negative impacts for our fleet and the processors who depend on their catch. The attempts

to reach a fair and sustainable management framework for mackerel failed. However, a further meeting

involving all parties is planned for early 2012 and a fair resolution to the current impasse will be a priority.

Implementation of Natura 2000 Directives

Arising from a 2007 judgment of the European Court of Justice against Ireland on the non-compliance

with the Habitats and Birds Directives, the Department continued in 2011 to implement an agreed

programme to bring sea-fisheries and aquaculture into full compliance.

While prior to 2011 the focus of the programme was necessarily on gathering and analysing scientific

data on the benthic habitats and bird use of each marine Natura site, the focus moved in 2011 to roll-out

of the process of conducting appropriate assessments of fisheries and aquaculture activities within

individual Natura sites, and consequent determination of licensing and consent arrangements for the

activities concerned.


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goal three

In 2011, three full appropriate assessments were completed on behalf of the Department by the Marine

Institute. These were in respect of Castlemaine Harbour, Co Kerry, Dundalk Bay, Co Louth and Roaring

Water Bay, Co. Cork. The Marine Institute reports of the assessments were the subject of public

consultation, following which the Minister finalised his determination of licensing and consent

arrangements for wild fisheries within Castlemaine Harbour and Dundalk Bay. Natura permits issued for

mussel seed fishing in Castlemaine Harbour and cockle fishing in Dundalk Bay while other conditions

were imposed for fishing of other species through Natura Declarations. The appropriate assessment

report and public submissions in respect of Roaring Water Bay are being considered and Ministerial

determinations will issue during 2012.

Detailed Implementing Rules for Control Regulation (EC) NO 1224/2009

In April, Council Regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the

rules of the Common Fisheries Policy and detailed implementing rules for this Control Regulation were

published. The implementation of the Control Regulation is overseen by an Inter-Departmental

Implementation Group drawn from DAFM, the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), the

Department of Defence and the Naval Service and the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. Ireland

has already implemented a number of the requirements under these regulations via a Statutory

Instrument in September of 2011.

Aquaculture Licencing

Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms, including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants.

A licence for aquaculture development can only be issued after the potential ecological consequences

have been assessed. This is a detailed process which requires inter-agency collaboration. A significant

backlog of applications has been developing in recent years owing in part to the increasing complexity

of coastal development and regulatory requirements, particularly the conservation status of sites. The

licensing of aquaculture is currently being updated to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the

industry in the medium and long term such as EU legislation on Environmental Protection, advancing

technologies, market opportunities). The core elements are:-

● Aquaculture licensing in Natura 2000 sites

● New Licence Templates

● Deep Sea Aquaculture

Annual Report 2011

Aquaculture licensing in Natura 2000 sites

In excess of 80% of aquaculture sites in the State are located in Natura 2000 areas which are areas

protected under the EU Habitats and/or EU Birds Directive. This means an appropriate assessment must

be carried out before determinations can be made on applications for aquaculture licences in Natura

areas.

In excess of 80% of aquaculture sites in the State are located in Natura 2000 areas which are areas

protected under the EU Habitats and/or EU Birds Directive. This means an appropriate assessment must

be carried out before determinations can be made on applications for aquaculture licences in Natura

areas.


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goal three

This Department in conjunction with the Marine Institute and the National Parks and Wildlife Service

(NPWS) of the Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is engaged in a comprehensive

programme to gather the necessary baseline data appropriate to the conservation objectives of these

areas. This work represents a significant financial, administrative and scientific investment by the State

and significant progress was made in 2011. This programme, together with the setting of appropriate

conservation objectives by the NPWS, will enable all new, renewal and review aquaculture applications

to be appropriately assessed for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the EU Birds and Habitats

Directives. In that context, the appropriate assessment of aquaculture applications is being dealt with

on a bay-by-bay basis.

New Licence Templates

The Department has comprehensively updated aquaculture licence templates to make them fit for

purpose to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Significant work has gone into

devising this new updated suite of licences, creating a balanced set of rights and obligations for the

industry suited to the current era. Key new features of the licence templates include:

● a move to Standing Stock Biomass for finfish as the means of measuring production capacity at an

aquaculture site,

● enhanced provisions on environmental monitoring,

● greater clarity on the requirements for operators in relation to operational conduct and monitoring,

● the possibility for the group-marking of sites for navigational purposes

● specific provisions covering company registration/dissolution, tax certificates, payment of fees etc.,

● the new licence templates are also species specific.

Deep Sea Aquaculture

Annual Report 2011

The Minister has initiated a process to radically expand the production of Irish organic farmed salmon

by creating new fish farming production areas in deeper waters. The placement of farms in deep waters

is to ensure that there is no impact on NATURA 2000 sites, no significant environmental or visual impact,

no interference with migratory salmonids, wild sea fisheries, navigation or tourism interests.

BIM estimates that just one of these production areas could generate over 100 Million Euro in exports

p.a. and create 350 direct jobs. A further 150 jobs will be created indirectly in the service sector, supplying

fish feed, netting, transportation and other services.

BIM and the Marine Institute investigated a number of suitable sites and advanced an environmental

impact assessment on one site. BIM expect to submit a licence application early next year for a site in

Galway Bay near Inis Oírr. The Department will consider this licence application and the Environmental

Impact Statement in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act.

The highest level of environmental protection is a key feature of the project and BIM consider that the

strategic approach to the deep sea project and the scale of the operation envisaged represents a major

‘game changer’ in terms of the management of Ireland’s sea food industry.

Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme

The strategic objective of this sub-programme is to ensure the future viability of the fishing industry, to

bring the Fishery Harbour Centres (FHCs) up to international practice, to reduce congestion at the

harbours and to improve safety for the fisheries sector.

In 2011, the total expenditure on this programme was €9.919 million, of which over €7.862 million was

spent on the FHCs. The significant investment on FHCs is project managed by the Department‘s

Engineering Division which also provides technical support and advisory and inspectorial services on all

fishery harbour developments.


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goal three

Annual Report 2011

In addition, in 2011 all coastal Local Authorities were invited to submit applications in respect of harbour

development projects for inclusion in the 2011 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development

Programme. Funding was approved for qualifying projects that had been identified as priorities by the

Local Authorities

Table 3.5 :

Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme 2011

County Location Project €

2011 Outturn

Cork Cape Clear Safety and Maintenance 15,119

Cork Cape Clear Bull Nose Design study for Pier 97,805

Cork Castletownbere Safety and Maintenance, 2,832,389

Disability Access, Dinish Wharf Extension,

Navigation Markings, Perimeter Fencing &

Security etc

Donegal Killybegs Disability Access, Safety and Maintenance, 987,465

Site Levelling, TBT, Blackrock pier inspection

& repairs

Donegal Greencastle Harbour Works 339,784

Dublin Howth Safety and Maintenance 480,005

Kerry Dingle Safety and Maintenance, Marina Piles, 695,093

Disability Access.

Waterford Dunmore East Safety and Maintenance, Disability Access, 756,497

Construction of Pontoon, Widening of

Slipway, Harbour Maintenance

Dredging investigations

Galway Ros An Mhíl Safety & Maintenance, Disability Access, 2,224,803

Ferry Pontoons, Small Craft Harbour,

Passenger Shelters, Car Park,

road improvements, roundabout, etc.

Miscellaneous Piers, lights and beacons etc. 25,147

Miscellaneous Upgrading of Harbours Capital 88,125

Local Authority Upgrade and maintenance works

Projects at Local Authority owned harbours and piers 1,377,197

Fishery Harbour Centres (FHC)

The Department has responsibility for the management and development of the six Fishery Harbour

Centres, located at Killybegs, Castletownbere, Dunmore East, Howth, An Daingean and Ros an Mhíl.

Located strategically around the coast of Ireland, each of the Fishery Harbour Centres provide an

essential service for the fishing fleet and its fishermen.

In addition they

● Accommodate various fishing related industries which generate local employment,

● Provide facilities for the repair and maintenance of the shipping fleet,

● Provide facilities for the support of passenger and cargo ferries to the islands,

● Play an important role in the Irish tourist and marine leisure industry


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goal three

Killybegs

Killybegs FHC is Ireland’s premier fishing port and provides services for the fishing industry, aquaculture

industry, fish processors and ancillary service providers. It accounts for a significant share of all the

registered fish landings in the country and contributes significantly to the local and national economies.

Over €50m has been invested in Killybegs FHC in recent years and this represents the largest single

investment by the State in a Fishery Harbour Centre. The project involved the reclamation of 28 acres

of foreshore, the construction of 450 metres of new quay, cargo sheds, a boat repair building and 1,400

sq metres of harbour offices.

Castletownbere

Castletownbere enjoys the benefit of being a natural harbour and is the second busiest of the six

Departments owned FHC.

The €39.5 million Castletownbere Harbour development project which is now complete comprised of:

(i) Dredging of the approach channel and berthing quay at Dinish Island,

(ii) Civil works: construction of a 215m length of quay (comprising 125m of new quay and 90 m

replacement of the existing quay) and associated infrastructure.

The project will provide much needed additional quay length, safer access and greater depths for

navigation into the harbour and greater berthing depths. The new development will cater for the more

modern larger vessels that are now part of the Castletownbere fishing fleet and will enable larger visiting

vessels to use the harbour. The entrance channel now has in excess of 6 meters at low water, while

boats berthed at the new pier will have 8 meters draught, giving an increased depth of about 4 meters.

In 2011, all outstanding civil contract works were complete. Works to the approach road to the pier and

all other finishing works outside of the contract were progressed by the Department, using direct labour.

These works included concrete paving on the shoreward side of the completed pier development, road

resurfacing (by contract), kerbing, ducting for drainage connections and connection of power to pier

services.

The total spend in 2011 was €2.087m.

Annual Report 2011

Ros an Mhíl

Ros an Mhíl Fishery Harbour Centre, located on the west coast of Ireland provides a valuable and

essential service to fishermen. Its proximity to the Aran Islands makes it invaluable to the residents of

these islands and acts as a catalyst for the development of island based tourism industry. There were in

excess of 345,000 passenger movements at the harbour in 2011.

The three new ferry pontoons at Ros An Mhíl Fishery Harbour Centre were commissioned in May of last

year and on 10th May 2011 they became fully operational, with all ferry services operating to the Aran

Islands now utilising the new pontoons. The development represents a state of the art embarkation

point for residents and visitors to the Aran Islands and enhances the safety of all Ros An Mhíl Fishery

Harbour Centre users. €1.13m was invested in the project in 2011. The total development at Ros An Mhíl

represents an overall investment of over €14.5 million.

In 2011 €464,835 was spent on the completion of the Small Craft Harbour at Rossaveel Fishery Harbour

Centre.

The purpose of the Small Craft Harbour (SCH) is to provide a dedicated facility for the small craft currently

in use at Rossaveel Harbour. Previously, these vessels operated in the vicinity of pelagic vessels and

rafted side by side at many locations due to a lack of space. The design of the SCH will also facilitate the

accommodation of visiting sail yachts and other leisure craft within the small craft harbour. The Small

Craft Harbour is complete and fully operational.


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goal four

GOAL 4

Effective Delivery of

Schemes and Services

Annual Report 2011

Performance Budgeting for Goal 4

Scheme Operations

Customer Service

Financial Management

Staff and Organisational Management

Developing IT Capability


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goal four

Annual Report 2011

Performance budgeting for Goal 4

D - Effective delivery of client focused schemes and services

High Level Goal: “To provide effective and responsive delivery of schemes and services in support of

farm income and market support”.

Inputs - Financial & Human Resources

2010 Provisional Outturn 2011 Estimate

Current Capital Total Current Capital Total

€000 €000 €000 €000 €000 €000

D.1 - ADMINISTRATION - PAY 28,409 - 28,409 27,503 - 27,503

D.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON-PAY 6,207 137 6,344 7,219 169 7,388

D.3 - INCOME AND MARKET SUPPORTS 30,229 - 30,229 43,333 - 43,333

D.4 - INCOME SUPPORT IN DISADVANTAGED AREAS 208,195 - 208,195 220,000 - 220,000

D.5 - OTHER SERVICES 4,064 - 4,064 626 - 626

Programme Total:- 277,104 137 277,241 298,681 169 298,850

of which pay 28,409 27,516

In addition to the above voted expenditure, Programme D also encompasses the discharge of the 100% EU funded payments

of €1.13 billion under the Single Farm Payment.

Staff Numbers 2010 2011

DAFM 529 526


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goal four Key Outputs

Public Service Activity:

Delivering schemes and services to

citizens in accordance with agreed

quality principles and targets

Improving the quality of service

delivery for citizens by enhanced ICT

and other service focused initiatives

Maintaining high standards of

financial management as verified by

external agencies

2010 outputs

● Over €1,130 million were paid to

around 121,000 farmers under the

2010 Single Payment Scheme. These

direct payments to farmers were paid

within the service delivery targets of

the Farmers Charter and Action Plan

● All other schemes achieved the

payment and service delivery targets

set out in the Farmers Charter and

Action Plan

● Action Plan under the 2010-2014 PSA

completed

● 58.6% of customers signed up for an

online services.

● 36% of SPS applications received

online.

● Online Cattle Movements Permits

facility introduced

● ICT enhancements introduced on two

systems to cater for new agrienvironmental

schemes (AEOS, Sows,

Poultry & Sheep).

● The Customer “Snapshot” application

was rolled out to new users.

● EU external auditors certified the

EAGF and EAFRD annual accounts and

had no major or immediate findings.

● Accounts subsequently cleared by the

EU Commission.

2011 output targets

● Deliver in excess of €1.2 billion in direct

payment to farmers within the

timeframe and service targets

specified in the Farmers Charter and

Action Plan

● Reduce administrative costs, inc. staff

numbers.

● Introduce better business processes

in a number of areas.

● Extend shared ICT infrastructure

support to a sixth client -D/CENR.

● Examine scope for shared service

support with state agencies for HR,

Legal and Accommodation services.

● Increase online application levels

under the Single Payment Scheme

(SPS) and the Animal Identification &

Movement system (AIM) to achieve

specified 2014 online targets

● Ensure that DAFF retains its status as

an accredited EU paying agency.

● Ensure continuing high standard of

financial management, as evidenced

by reports of monitoring authorities

● Establish unit cost of service delivery

for major schemes


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goal four

1

2

3

4

5

Family Farm Income in

Disadvantaged as %

Non- Disadvantaged

Areas

Meeting customer

determined

performance targets

Retain EU Paying

Agency status and

secure draw down of

EU funding

Reduced staffing

levels and costs

Streamlined office

network and

structures

2007

55.07%

2008

Direct payment

Schemes - 96-98% paid

within targets

Other Schemes -

90-100% paid within

targets

2008

Achieved -

€1,814m EU

funds

2008

4,245

€248,160m

2008

58 Local

Offices

Context and

Impact indicators

2008

61.20%

2009

Direct payment

Schemes - 99%

paid within targets

Other Schemes 76-

100% paid within

targets

2009

Achieved -

€1,648m EU

funds

2009

3881

€235,878

2009

56 Local

Offices

2009

71.19%

2010

Direct payment

Schemes-96-97% paid

within targets.

Other schemes

85-100% paid within

targets

2010

Achieved

€1,305m

EU funds

2010

3632

€203,110

2010

24 Local

Offices

including 13 restructured

Regional Offices


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goal four

SCHEME OPERATIONS

Annual Report 2011

Table 4.1 and 4.2 beneath gives operational details on the main schemes operated by the Department in

2011.

Table 4.1 : 2011 Payments to Farmers

Scheme Applications Applications Payments made*

received in 2011 processed € M

Single Payment 123,290 119,802 1,307.7

Disadvantaged Areas 102,295 98,145 233.9

Rural Environmental Protection - - 277.0

Farm Waste Management - 32.640

Dairy Hygiene - 1 .007

Afforestation Grant 2,046 1,851 28.48

Forestry Premium 21,444 21,087 75.67

Early Retirement 0 27 27.6

Installation Aid - 27 .399

Alternative Enterprise 5 .039

Pig welfare 6 0.548

Farm Improvement 206 3.512

Pilot Waste Facilities 0 0

TB and Brucellosis Compensation 4,993 5,124 16.65

BSE Compensation 33 0.040

Scrapie Compensation 13 0.225

Suckler Welfare Scheme 35,505 30.13

Investment Aid for Commercial 121 69 2.00

Horticulture

Scheme of Organic Grant Aid 185 204 0.70

TAMS 1,826 2 0.462

*This column refers to all payments made in 2011 which can involve commitments over and above applications processed in that year.

Table 4.2 : Trader Payments in 2011

Scheme Applications Applications Payments

received processed made € M

Marketing & Processing 23 2,473,610.65

Food Competitiveness - - 2,211,373

Food Investment Scheme

• Beef/Sheepmeat 11 7,115,559.61

• Dairy 7 85,943,260.56


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goal four

Annual Report 2011

Direct Payments

Annual expenditure of over €1.65 billion, on the Single Payment, Disadvantaged Areas and REP and AEO

schemes, was made by this Department to help achieve the objective of protecting farmers’ incomes and

of maintaining the optimal number of family farms. Over €1,144 million were paid to around 121,000

farmers under the 2011 Single Payment Scheme. These direct payments to farmers in 2011 were paid

within the service delivery targets of the Farmers Charter and Action Plan

Suckler Welfare Scheme

Approximately 35,505 farmers continued to participate in the Animal Welfare, Recording and Breeding

Scheme for Suckler Herds during 2011, representing approximately 866,000 animals. This is a five-year

scheme, fully funded by the Exchequer, for beef breed animals born between 1 January 2008 and 31

December 2012. Since the beginning of the scheme, almost €123 million has been paid for animals born

during 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The Scheme’s primary objectives are to underpin the adoption of high standards of animal welfare in

suckler herds while also recording essential breeding data. This will lead to a reduction in the incidence

of disease and weight loss at weaning in the animals. Furthermore, the creation of a comprehensive

database, allowing farmers to identify the best breeding stock, will lead to an overall improvement in the

quality of the national beef herd.

The Scheme is also be used as a marketing tool when selling Irish beef into newer higher value markets,

where consumers are seeking assurances about the standards of animal welfare and husbandry on farms.


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goal four

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Farmers Charter and Action Plan

The Farmers Charter and Action Plan 2009-2011 contains specific commitments on service delivery targets

for farmers. Three meetings of the Monitoring Committee comprising representatives of the farmer

representative organisations and Department officials were held in 2011.

Table 4.3 following indicates the progress achieved on the targets specified in the Farmers Charter Action

Plan. Achievement of service delivery targets is predicated on correct scheme requirements and

documentation being available.

Table 4.3: 2011 Performance on Customer Service Delivery Targets

SERVICE

Single Payment Scheme

Disadvantaged Area

Compensatory

Allowances

Suckler Welfare

Scheme

Rural Environment

Protection Scheme

Application for

admission to scheme

TARGET DELIVERY TIME

EU Regulations provide that payments

shall be made once a year within the

period 1 December to 30 June of the

following year. However, EU agreement

was obtained which allowed for 50%

advance payments from 17/10/2011.

Balancing payments commenced on

1/12/2011.

While there is no regulatory payment

date, it is generally that mid/late

September is the earliest date by which

payment can start issuing; this is

acknowledged in the Farmers’ Charter.

The Department will endeavour to

make payments to applicants as quickly

as possible, while taking into account

the requirement to complete all

eligibility checks before the

commencement of payments.

Payments will be made on an ongoing

basis, as animals become eligible i.e.

when weaning is completed and all

animal events information is in order.

Processing of valid application to

scheduling for payment:-

Applications not selected for prepayment

inspection within 10 weeks

Applications selected for pre-payment

inspection within 12 weeks

Issuing of payment following approval

within 1 month

Annual Report 2011

2011 PERFORMANCE

Advance payments

commenced on 17/10/2011

with balancing payments on

1 December. By end 2011

€1.196 billion had been paid

to 97% of applicants.

Payments commenced on 22

September and approx

€216m was paid to 96% of all

valid applicants by 31

December 2011.

Payments amounting to in

excess of €30m were made

during 2011 including almost

€12.3m in respect of some

307,000 animals born during

2011.

N/A

N/A

N/A


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goal four

SERVICE

Application for annual

payment

Farm Waste

Management Scheme

Dairy Hygiene Scheme

Alternative Enterprise

Scheme

Installation Aid

Improvement in Animal

Welfare Standards

(Sow Housing)

TARGET DELIVERY TIME

Processing of valid application to

scheduling for payment within 8 weeks

Issue of payment following approval

within 1 month

Issue of approval following receipt of

valid application within 3 months

Approval for payment following receipt

of notice of completion of works and

valid supporting documents within 3

months

Issue of payment following approval for

payment within 6 weeks

Issue of approval following receipt of

valid application within 3 months

Approval for payment following receipt

of notice of completion of works and

valid supporting documents within 3

months

Issue of payment following approval for

payment within 6 weeks

Issue of approval following receipt of

valid application within 3 months

Approval for payment following receipt

of notice of completion of works and

valid supporting documents within 3

months

Issue of payment following approval for

payment within 6 weeks

Processing of valid application to

scheduling for payment stage:-

Applications not selected for prepayment

inspection within 10 weeks

Applications selected for pre-payment

inspection within 12 weeks

Issue of payment following approval

within 6 weeks

Issue of approval following receipt of

valid application within 3 months

Approval for payment following receipt

of notice of completion of works and

valid supporting documents within 3

months

Issue of payment following approval for

payment within 6 months.

Annual Report 2011

2011 PERFORMANCE

85%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%


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goal four

SERVICE

Farm Improvement

Scheme

Young Farmers

Installation Scheme

Early Retirement

Scheme

Forest Service

Forestry Premium

Scheme

TARGET DELIVERY TIME

Issue of approval following receipt of

valid application within 3 months

Approval for payment following receipt

of notice of completion of works and

valid supporting documents within 3

months

Issue of payment following approval for

payment within 6 months.

Issue of approval following receipt of

valid application within 3 months

Approval for payment following receipt

of notice of completion of works and

valid supporting documents within 3

months

Issue of payment following approval for

payment within 6 months.

Issue of payment following approval

within 6 weeks

➢ Approvals within 10 weeks of

application except where public

consultation is required under

statute.

➢ 40% inspection level within 4 weeks

of receipt of application.

➢ Payment within 6 weeks for non

inspection cases or 10 weeks where

inspection is required.

Annual bulk run carried out during April

but payments continued throughout

the year.

Annual Report 2011

2011 PERFORMANCE

100%

100%

96.55%

Over 90% of all valid

applications for approval and

payment are within the

targets as set out in the

Charter.

Over 91% of premium

commitments relating to

valid applications received

were paid before the end of

April 2011.

Annual Premium (bulk)

Payment Run: €55.5m


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goal four

SERVICE

Compensation – Bovine

TB and Brucellos

Brucellosis Eradication

Schemes

BSE Scrapie

Complaints Procedure

The Department continued to operate a formalised complaints procedure in 2011. The 23 complaints

received in 2011, were investigated by the Quality Service Unit and settled in accordance with the

Ombudsman’s guidelines on principles of good practice in public administration.

Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman forwarded a total of 90 complaints relating to the Department in 2011. The

Department met the statutory deadlines for reply in all cases.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

TARGET DELIVERY TIME

TB and Brucellosis compensation to be

paid within 3 weeks of the date of

receipt of the required correct

documentation or of eligibility as per

terms and conditions.

BSE Compensation paid within 21 days

of receipt of completed documentation

Scrapie Compensation -100%- paid

within 14 days of receipt of final

documents

Annual Report 2011

2011 PERFORMANCE

98.3% of Reactor Grant

Valuation compensation

payments were made within

3 weeks of receipt of all the

required documentation and

over 99% were made within 8

weeks.

98.8% of Income Supplement,

Depopulation and Hardship

Grant payments were made

within 3 weeks of receipt of

the required documentation

and over 99% were made

within 8 weeks.

All applicants paid within the

required time-frame

All applicants paid within the

required time-frame

A total of 225 FOI applications were received during 2011 of which 117 (52%) were for personal information.

The remaining 46% were from a number of different sources including the media, business and interest

groups. 38 requests in total were received from journalists. A total of 29 requests have proceeded to

internal review, with 4 being appealed to the Information Commissioner.


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goal four

Financial Management

Annual Report 2011

Overall Expenditure

The Department was responsible for Voted expenditure of over €1,421 million in 2011. In addition to voted

expenditure, the Department spent €1,375 million in EU funded schemes, bringing total expenditure to

€2.8 billion (see table 4.4 for details).

Table 4.4 Expenditure on Irish Agriculture, 2011

€m

EAGF Guarantee direct expenditure 1,375.6

Single Farm Payment 1316.0

Grassland Sheep, Burren Life, Dairy Efficiency 22.5

Export Refunds 3.2

Other Market Supports 33.9

Intervention Purchases 0

Voted Expenditure (excluding Administration) 1184.0

*Programme A – Agri Food Policy Development & Trade 325.5

*Programme B – Food Safety, Animal Health,Plant Welfare 121.3

*Programme C – Rural Economy and Environment 485.7

*Programme D – Delivery of Client Focussed Schemes & Services 251.5

Administration 237.3

Total Voted Expenditure 1,421.3

Total Expenditure 2,796.9


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goal four

Annual Report 2011

EU Receipts

The Department claimed and received funding from the EU in 2011 in respect of measures financed from

the following EU Funds:

● EAGF (European Agriculture Guarantee Fund )

● EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development)

● Veterinary Fund and

● Fisheries Funds.

See Table 4.5 following for summary of EU receipts in 2010 and 2011

Table 4.5: Summary of EU Receipts

2010 €m 2011 €m

EAGF Guarantee – Agriculture 1,305 1,298

EAFRD Rural Development 2007-2013 381 348

Veterinary Fund 14 20

Other 4 6

Fisheries - FIFG, EFF, EAGF fish markets and 23 1

Conservation and Management

Total 1,727 1,673

EAGF Guarantee Receipts are the amounts received in calendar year. These are received in arrears in respect of claims in EAGF year -

Oct to Oct. and thus do not directly relate to expenditure claims in a given calendar year.

The EAFRD Rural Development receipts are the total calendar year receipts for Ireland. They relate to

2010 - DAFM (€ 306m) and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (€20.9 m).

2011 - DAFM (€348m) and the Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government (€24m).

EAGF : This EU fully financed CAP expenditure on direct payments to farmers and certain market

supports.

EAFRD co-finances a range of agricultural policies on rural development and environmental protection

measures under Ireland’s 2007- 2013 Rural Development Programme (RDP). The RDP is operated by this

Department and the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government.

The European Commission contributes, through the Veterinary Fund, towards the cost of measures to

monitor and eradicate certain animal diseases and zoonoses. This funding is provided as part of the

approved eradication and monitoring programmes operated by the Department.

Fisheries measures include the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) which finances measures under the Sea

Food Development Operational Programme for the period 2007-2013 as well as programmes for fisheries

conservation and market support.

Financial Controls

The Department operates a comprehensive range of financial management, control and accounting

systems to comply with EU and national accounting and governance requirements.

In accordance with stringent EU accreditation requirements, the Department submitted its

independently certified annual accounts of expenditure to the EU Commission. The Department’s

performance as a national paying agency continued to be monitored in 2011 by the Accreditation Review

Group (ARG). The Secretary General chaired this group which includes representatives from the

Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners. It met on five occasions during 2011. One of the


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goal four

Annual Report 2011

Group’s key duties is to ensure that the recommendations of the Certification Body for the previous year

are implemented and that all EU audit findings are followed up appropriately.

Audit Committee

The Department’s longstanding Audit Committee, currently consists of Helen Nolan, (Chair) Group

Secretary of Bank of Ireland, Bill Cunningham, former partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers Ireland, Claire

O’Connor, EAA Covered Bank Bond plc, Ronan Gallagher, Department of Finance, Paddy O’Shaughnessy,

Revenue Commissioners, and Martin Heraghty of this Department.

The Audit Committee advises on the operation of the internal audit function and examines and monitors

the implementation of the Department’s risk management strategy.

The Committee met four times in 2011 and the Chairman met regularly with the Secretary General. Its

Annual Report for 2010, which was issued in April 2011, expressed satisfaction with the controls operated

by the Department and the Chairman cited the significant contribution which the Internal Audit Unit

makes to the evaluation and improvement of controls in the Department.

Internal Audit

The Internal Audit Unit completed a substantial body of internal and scrutiny audit work during 2011 to

help maintain the highest standards of corporate and financial management and accountability. The

Department’s activities were subjected to a total of 1,625 audit person days while a further 267 audit

person days were directed to post factum scrutiny auditing of companies in receipt of EAGF funding.

Twenty five internal audit reports were completed and issued during the year. All regulatory

requirements on audit and control were completed in accordance with the prescribed timescales of the

EU Scrutiny and European Fishery Fund Regulations. The IT audit group, assisted by specialist external

consultants, completed a significant amount of audit coverage. Staff of the IAU also undertook 103

training days as part of their continuous upskilling programme.

Risk Management

The Risk Management Committee, chaired by the Secretary General, met on four occasions during 2011.

At these meetings, the Committee identified and assessed the key risks (strategic, operational, financial,

reputational) facing the Department and outlined measures to address them.

CAP Beneficiaries Website

In May the Department published details on its website of all payments, to legal entities, received under

the EAGF and the EAFRD for the period 16 October 2009 to 15 October 2010. Information on ‘natural

persons’ is withheld in line with a ruling of the European Court of Justice.

Prompt Payment

In 2011 a total of 70 invoices, of which 66 were valued in excess of €317.44 (the prescribed threshold),

incurred late payment penalties. The total interest paid during 2011 resulting from late payments

amounted to €1,663. The value of all invoices that were paid late amounted to €489,739, which

represents 0.36 % of the €134.2 million total payments falling within the terms of the Regulations. The

average payment delay in excess of 30 days, (late payment period) was 7 days.

There is also a requirement since 2009 for Government Departments to pay Irish suppliers within 15 days.

Details of this Department’s compliance with this government decision are set out in the following table:


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goal four

2011

Annual Report 2011

Payments made Number Value € Percentage of total

Within 15 days 37,568 95,206,208 83.64

Within 16 to 30 days 6,969 15,090,943 13.26

In excess of 30 days 2,674 3,537,0293.10

Total 47,211 113,834,181 100

Disputed invoices* 2 1,519 0.004

*All paid and included in relevant category

STAFF & ORGANISATIONAL MANAGEMENT

Re-organisation and Reform

Management Services Division (MSD) provides the Department with analysis and advice on

organisational development, business process improvement and resource deployment. It is also involved

in change management, including co-ordinating the Department’s response to public sector reform.

Organisational Reviews

Since 2005 the Department has been engaged in a major programme of re-organisation at all levels. This

has been facilitated by changes in the schemes administered by the Department, reductions in disease

levels, the advanced use of information technology. Furthermore, a programme of internal reviews of

business units, including major reviews of the local office network has led to improved business

processes and greater operational efficiency. 15 major reviews of business units were completed in this

period, including 3 in 2011

● DVO Veterinary Inspectorate (non ERAD)

● Forestry Inspectorate

● Review of Accounts Division

As a result of this re-organisation the Department has reduced its staffing levels from 4,800 in 2005 to

3,525 at the end of 2011, a reduction of 27%. The cost of running the Department has fallen substantially

since 2008, by some €60million or approximately 20%.

Organisational Review Programme (ORP)

The Department was part of the first phase of the ORP, in 2008. A ‘look back’ process began in 2011 that

involved the Department reporting on progress achieved on its action plan and liaising extensively with

the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The assessment was that the action plan had been

substantially implemented. Furthermore, in relation to this Department the independent review stated

that “reports identify a number of good practice exemplars which could be of interest to the civil service

generally in addressing particular capacity challenges common across the system. Included here are:

Initiatives aimed at better management of resources. DAFM have been successful in their efficiency agenda

particularly with regard to reviews of business units undertaken by the Management Services Division,

including the reorganisation of local offices.’

Public Sector Reform and the Public Service (Croke Park) Agreement Action Plan

The Department’s Action Plan under the Public Service (Croke Park) Agreement was submitted in January

2011. It included a range of action including the Local Office Re-organisation Programme; further staff

savings; further non-pay administrative savings; rationalising inspections; reform of procurement; better

HR management; increased use of shared services. To date, two progress reports have been presented,

instancing how


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goal four

● the Local Office Re-organisation Programme is making good progress and is on schedule to be

completed by the end of 2012;

● the Department is now operating with significantly less staff (over 350 less between the beginning of

2010 and the end of 2011);

● major progress has been made in the areas of procurement, shared services and online services.

Implementation Steering Group

The implementation of MSD reviews, the Action Plan under Public Service (Croke Park) Agreement and

the Value for Money Programme is directed by the Implementation Steering Group, which is made up of

senior management and chaired by the Secretary General.

Staff Seminars

As part of an initiative to improve internal communications, a series of staff seminars were presented by

the Secretary General, in eight locations throughout the country.

Training and Development

In addition to the considerable amount of on-the job training provided across the Department in 2011,

the Department provided a wide range of formal training and development opportunities for staff. These

included management, interpersonal and communication skills training, grade development

programmes, equality and diversity awareness as well as language training. Training programmes were

also provided in IT, Law, Health and Safety, Food Safety, and Finance as well as a variety of tailored

training for technical, veterinary, engineering and scientific staff.

In 2011, a total of 8,508 days training (excluding on-the-job training) were delivered at a cost, including

overheads, of over €3.3 million.

Performance Management & Development (PMDS)

Annual Report 2011

The Department is engaged with, and rolled-out, changes to the process arising from central

developments such as the new forms, underperformance guidelines etc. A number of initiatives were

undertaken during 2011 to improve compliance with the PMDS process including improved internal

reporting and communications with staff.

Equality and Diversity

The Department actively supports and promotes equality in all aspects of its activities. In 2011the

Department exceeded the statutory 3% employment target for people with disabilities. The Department

has participated in initiatives aimed at providing work experience placements to people with disabilities

and will continue to do so where possible. The Department facilitated 3 placements under the Job

Shadow Initiative in 2011 which is an initiative which gives people with disabilities an opportunity to

shadow a workplace mentor as he/she goes through a normal working day.

The Department participated again in the WAM (Willing Able and Mentoring) Programme 2011, which

creates partnerships between leading Irish employers and graduates with disabilities and provides the

mechanism of a structured mentored work placement programme for a six month period. It facilitated

3 placements under this Programme in 2011.

HR Strategy

The Department prepared a draft HR strategy following completion of a consultation process involving

management and staff. This draft was updated to take account of external developments including,

changes in ECF numbers, the Government’s Public Sector Reform Plan, PMDS etc. The document will be

further updated to take account of current developments in relation to the Workforce Planning

Framework and the shared HR services exercise.


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goal four

Health and Safety Section

During 2011, over 760 staff attended health and safety training, which covered 14 different courses

ranging from ½ day to 3 days. The courses covered such topics as first aid, manual handling and fire

safety. This equates to over 6,000 hours of health and safety training attended in 2011. All training was

evaluated and recorded on Human Resource Management System and is included in the overall training

and development annual budget.

Work continued in 2011 on the implementation of a Safety Management System. The Section reviewed

the Health and Safety Policy Statement and compiled a document identifying health and safety roles

and responsibilities for all Department employees.

The Noise Surveillance Programme continued with the scheduling of appointments for identified staff

and following up on issues raised.

The Health and Safety Section reviewed the role of Safety Representative in the Department to improve

representation across locations, grades and work practices. A proposal was submitted to Departmental

Council which was subsequently agreed and now being implemented.

During 2011, the Health and Safety Section conducted a health and safety audit of Veterinary Public Health

Inspection Service (VPHIS) and the subsequent reports that issued identified actions for completion in

2012.

Risk assessments were completed for staff involved in field duties and for staff with specialist control

functions on plant health, animal health or food safety.

ISO 9001:2008

Following on from annual surveillance audits by the NSAI, the ISO 9001 was retained in the following

areas of the Department:

● Veterinary Medicines Section, Backweston

● Beef Export Refunds Division, Wexford

● Livestock Production and Trade, Cavan

● Asset Management Unit, Portlaoise;

● Input Section, Cash Office and Payments Sections of Accounts Division, Cavan

● Training and Development Unit, Dublin and Portlaoise

The Department is committed to further roll out of the standard in 2012.

Annual Report 2011

Accommodation

The main focus of the Department’s accommodation brief in 2011 was the continued assessment of

available space to facilitate the final moves in the Department’s local office network reorganisation. An

assessment of further opportunities to consolidate operations in HQ locations was also made. Regular

energy audits were carried out during 2011 in Departments offices as part of the Optimising Power at

Work programme. Arising from changes made on foot of these audits to date, there has been an average

decrease of around 10% in energy usage in these offices.


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goal four

Asset Management

During 2011 more than 30 locations were visited countrywide mainly concentrating on meat plants, to

verify and update the historical asset information. This coincided with a photocopier and software

upgrade and the installation of TVI hardware installation for clocking system at these locations. A full

inventory of their assets was recorded. The ISO 9001certification was retained by the unit.

Procurement Management

In 2011, a review of the procurement function within the Department was completed, reviewed by an

external consultant and its implementation commenced. A key recommendation was the establishment

of a Central Procurement Unit to provide advice to Divisions, to oversee and monitor all aspects of

Department procurement and, where necessary, enforce procurement policy.

The Central Procurement Unit (CPU) was established in October 2011 from existing resources within the

Department. The Unit is a policy unit and since its establishment has been providing advice to Divisions

on competitive processes and compliance with EU and national procurement rules. The Unit has also

put in place formal procedures to ensure appropriate coordination and monitoring of the procurement

function. These include the requirement that all Divisions complete multi-annual procurement plans

setting out their planned estimated expenditure on procurement, take account of the need to achieve

savings and include timelines for proposed competitive processes.

The Unit is also working with Divisions to put in place appropriate category and contract management

processes to ensure the Department achieves optimum value for money in public procurement. In this

regard, lead Divisions will be appointed to procure specific goods and services for the Department as a

whole. Consequently, one Division has been appointed to procure all Personal Protective Equipment

needed throughout the Department. Divisions are also instructed to use the National Procurement

Service framework contracts wherever possible. The Unit will also lead and assess initiatives to ensure

the Department delivers a 10% saving on procurement by the end of 2014.

DEVELOPING IT CAPABILITY

Image courtesy of Farmers Journal

Annual Report 2011


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goal four

Major ICT developments in 2011

The Department is critically dependent on IT for the operation of its schemes and services. The major

IT developments in 2011 included the following:

ICT Shared Services

Significant progress occurred with regard to ICT infrastructure shared services with the Department of

Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) in 2011. The service started in June and over

1,000 Help Desk calls have been successfully managed in that period with a monthly average of approx.

220 calls being dealt with by DAFM staff. The original scope of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOU)

between both Departments, has also been expanded to include a managed print service and following

a successful pilot, Multi-Function Devices (MFDs) are being deployed throughout DCENR. The shared

service was also reviewed by the MAC in DCENR who expressed overall satisfaction with the delivery of

the service to date.

Discussions with regard to ICT shared services have also taken place with the Department of the

Taoiseach (DoT) and agreement has been reached with regard to the involvement of DAFM in the

provisioning of a new ICT Network for DoT on a shared services basis. The provision of a new DoT

network is fundamental to the replacement of the obsolete DoT telephone system with a voice-over-IP

(VOIP) system based on the new network. It will also provide for significantly expanded Video

Conferencing facilities, which is a requirement for the upcoming EU Presidency. An MOU has been

agreed between both Departments. The installation and commissioning of the new DoT Network will

be undertaken by DAFM staff in the first quarter of 2012 and DAFM will have an ongoing role in the

monitoring and management of the Network equipment in DoT.

Shared services provision for the Department’s Non-Commercial State Sponsored Bodies (NCSSB’s) is

provided at various levels, such as

● full ICT email and network support for the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA),

● data centre hosting for Teagasc,

● assistance to Bord Bia in the provision of a voice-over-IP (VOIP) telephone system,

● network support, sharing of telecommunication links with Bord Iasciagh Mhara (BIM) and the sharing

of content management facilities and technical infrastructure to host and update their redeveloped

website.

● redesigned and launch of external websites for Coford, Woodspec, Woodenergy, FAWAC, and

Fishingnet

Payments 2011

2011 advance payments began in October 2011 and amounted to €576 million in total by the end of

November. To date, 123,552 SPS applicants had their payments processed and a total of €1.23B had

been paid to these applicants.

SPS- iNet

● The number of SPS applications filed through SPS-iNet in 2011 increased by 25% to 54,383 representing

41% of all applications.

Processing 2012

● Work commenced in Q4 2011 on the changes to application forms and validation for the 2012 scheme

year. This functionality will be implemented in early 2012 ensuring that preprinted forms and SPS iNet

are available to all potential applicants. Functionality will be included in SPS iNet to allow the

farmer/agent enter map edits through the application.


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goal four

Customer Snapshot Application (CSA)

As part of the reorganisation of the Local Office structure, a Customer Snapshot Application was created

and introduced in 2010. This application gives frontline staff the current status of a customer’s dealings

across the main areas of the Department. The system provides the staff member with sufficient

information to effectively deal with the majority of enquiries at the first point of contact. In addition,

details can be recorded of all interactions between staff and customers and an issue management system

has been introduced in tandem with the CSA to manage queries requiring follow up.

Agri Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) and Targeted Agricultural

Modernisation Scheme (TAMS)

During 2011, the Department continued with the development of a computerised solution for the new

agri-measure investment schemes AEOS & TAMS. The Department’s existing Generic Claims Processing

System (GCPS) and Agriculture Field Inspection & Testing (AFIT) systems were also successfully extended

to cater for the new agri-measure investment schemes. In 2011 the following functionality was delivered:

TAMS

Functionality for Sheep and Dairy to support eligibility/validation/costings and selection went live in

September 2011. Payment calculation functionality for Sheep/Dairy was developed in December 2011.

The system for Sheep Fencing data capture went to User Acceptance Testing in 2011 and development

work continued on validations, calculations and selection.

AEOS I

Advance (2010) payments for AEOS I commenced in August 2011, with the balancing payments issuing

in November. Advance and Balancing AEOS I 2011 payments commenced in December 2011.

AEOS II

A number of releases of software occurred throughout the year to support the business processes of

applications recording, validation and approval. The ranking, selection and approval functionality was

released in September 2011.

Agriculture Field & Inspection Testing (AFIT)

Annual Report 2011

Single Payment Scheme (SPS) / Cross Compliance software developed as follows:

● Introduction of new Eligibility Formal Notification letter

● Amended Repeatability Functionality

● Changes to ground inspection functionality and procedures

● Acceptance of automated Cross Reported cases from the Rural Development Programme (RDP)

● Times On/Off farm and officers present

District Veterinary Office (DVO) software developed as follows:

● An extensive Animal by Products (ABP) module was developed in 2011. This module when completed

will cater for an additional 19 inspection types.

● New inspections for Experimental Animals Premises and Horse Id and transport were added and a

new stand alone module for Class A diseases was developed.

● Reporting facility using Oracle Discoverer was created for 10 inspection types.

Rural Environmental Protection scheme (REPS) software developed as follows:

The AFIT module was extended in 2011 to provide a more comprehensive set of facilities to support this

scheme.


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goal four

Rural Development Programme (RDP) software developed as follows:

● AEOS 1 – 2010 Screens delivered for data capture of inspection results

● AEOS 1 – 2011 Screens delivered for data capture of inspection results

● AEOS 1 – 2010 & 2011 Letter functionality delivered.

● AEOS 1 – 2010 & 2011 Penalty Interface to notify GCPS released

● TAMS – Dairy Equipment – Pre-approval screens delivered

● TAMS – Sheep Handling - Pre-approval screens delivered

Remote Data Capture (RDC) Project: Development began on functionality to capture inspection results at

the point of inspection, and a pilot phase was initiated with the SPS Cross Compliance Group. Significant

enhancements and improvements were delivered and tested. An agreed release timeframe was put in

place for the rollout of the new RDC devices to Inspectors during 2012.

The Integrated Forestry Information System (IFORIS)

Five software releases were implemented in 2011 to enhance the system and cater for ongoing changes

in the operation of the Forestry schemes.

Animal Health Computer System (AHCS)

During 2011, the Department continued development of the Animal Health Computer System (AHCS) to

support a range of animal health programmes. Changes effected included:

● Facilities to register and maintain disease information relating to pig herds was established in AHCS

● The first major module for Class A disease management (Disease Suspect Visits) was delivered.

● Enhancements to TB and TSE Test management

● Improved Payment and Valuation facilities

● New notifications to Herd Keepers and system reports were completed.

● New facilities for managing Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) were developed.

AIM (Animal Identification and Movement system)

The following functionality was delivered during 2011:

● New facilities provided for Export Assembly Centres to view details of animals located in the centres

and for use with the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme.

● New facilities to enable Agents to update/view data as appropriate.

● New real-time web service with approved Farm Management Software packages

● Enhanced online facilities for the registration of calves

● Enhanced online facilities that enable herd keepers to apply for compliance certificates using their

herd profiles. These certificates are required for the movement of bovine animals from Farm to Farm.

● Enhanced movement processing facilities at Export Factories.

● Additional information provided to Livestock Marts in relation to animals being sold.

● Enhanced online dealer facilities

Online Services

Annual Report 2011

There was continued growth in the use of Online Services through the www.agfood.ie portal. By end

2011, some 92,500 customers were registered for online services, either as individuals or through Agents.

● 54,383 of 132,916 Single Farm Payment applications were submitted online via SPS-iNet (41% of the

total claim load). This represents a 25% increase in the number of online applications from 2010 to 2011.

● The number of calves registered electronically in 2011 was 713,434, an increase of 35.8% on 2010

(525302).

● The number of herds which registered calves electronically in 2011 was 15,608, an increase of 23% on

the number of herd keepers who registered animals electronically in 2010.


98


goal four

Fisheries – The Integrated Fisheries Information System (IFIS) and the

Electronic Recording System (ERS)

The Fisheries IFIS and ERS systems support the administration of the fishing industry in Ireland and are

used amongst other things for registration, licensing and quota management. Several enhancements

were introduced in IFIS in response to requirements arising from the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

The ERS comprises a number of software applications and web services and is used by the fishing

industry to record, report, process, store and exchange fisheries data between Ireland, other EU member

states and Norway. There are four separate elements within the ERS project as follows –

● On-Board system: The fishing vessel on-board system (ieCatch) is used by the vessel master to record

and report fishing operations. In 2011 DAFM took over the development and maintenance of this

application, as a shared service, on behalf of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA). Data from

the on-board system is transmitted via web services to the Department’s central ERS hub.

● Other Member States (OMS): The OMS element of the system is a web service for exchange of data

between Ireland and other member states. An upgrade to transmit data through the EU central

node was successfully delivered in 2011. Ireland was the first member state in Europe to implement

the transmission of data through the EU Central Node.

● Norway & EU: This element of the system comprises of a Norway web service interacting with an EU

Web service. This was delivered successfully to support Irish fishing vessels operating in Norwegian

waters.

● Inspectors Data Capture Device (DCD): This is a project for the SFPA and Naval Services inspectorate.

It comprises a notebook computer and a software application (ieInspect) to record details of all

fishing vessel inspections whether at port or at sea. In 2011, DAFM also took on responsibility for

future maintenance and development of the ieInspect application, on a shared services basis, for the

SFPA. ieInspect and the DCD web service were completed in 2011.

Financial System - SAP

During 2011, the SAP system processed some 710,000 payments to farmers/vendors and customers with

a gross value of some €2.8bn. Over 21,500 purchase orders, involving over 48,000 line items were created

for goods/services received and some 28,200 sales invoices were issued for services provided. New SAP

facilities were deployed to support and automate many manual business processes resulting in increased

process efficiencies and savings for the Department including -

● New Requisition and Inventory Management solution for Tuberculin and Blood kits,

● Standardisation of bulk printing of payslips from SAP,

● Automation of overnight SAP Batch window tasks,

● Implementation of electronic payments to general suppliers and foreign suppliers,

● Review of SAP Security and User profile,

● Enhanced SAP Reporting including an e-mail integration component,

● A technical upgrade of the SAP system to ‘Unicode’ compliance was completed,

● Migration of SAP server landscape from the AIX to the Linux operating system architecture bringing

the SAP application in line with all of the main DAFM applications in terms of operating system, SAN

storage, backup & recovery and disaster recovery.

Single Sign On (SSO)

Annual Report 2011

New facilities were introduced to enable external agencies (e.g. Teagasc) to maintain agent/customer

associations for the purpose of submitting SPS claims. The maintenance of these associations was

previously carried out by Department staff, requiring significant resources and resulting in delays and

additional form-filling for agents and/or customers.

A self-service password-reset facility (SSRPM) for Department staff was introduced into the SSO system

in 2011 and is expected to significantly reduce the number of SSO password calls managed by the internal

IT Security Unit. 99


appendices

APPENDIX A

STATE BODIES UNDER THE AEGIS OF THE DEPARTMENT

Teagasc, Agriculture and Food Development Authority

Oak Park, Carlow

Tel. 059 9170200

Website: www.teagasc.ie

Teagasc provides integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry

and rural communities. It was established under the Agriculture (Research, Training and Advice) Act,

1988. Its mission is to support science-based innovation in the agri-food sector and wider bio-economy

so as to underpin profitability, competitiveness and sustainability. At end 2010, it employed over 1,300

staff in 70 locations throughout Ireland.

It is governed by an eleven-member authority. The chair and five ordinary members are appointed by

the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; remaining members are appointed by the Minister

following nominations from designated organisations.

Bord Bia

Clanwilliam Court, Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2

Tel: 01 6685155

Website; www.bordbia.ie

Annual Report 2011

Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, has responsibility for the market development and promotion of Irish

food and horticulture including amenity horticulture at home and abroad and champions the success of

the Irish food and horticultural sectors through delivery of effective and innovative market development,

promotion and information services to secure new business for clients. It operates quality assurance

schemes for beef, pork and bacon, horticultural and egg products. Its trade brand Ireland the Food Island

is used to support the marketing activities of all sectors and products. Bord Bia has a network of

international offices in Amsterdam, Chicago, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow Paris and

Shanghai.

Horse Racing Ireland

Ballymany, The Curragh, Co Kildare

Tel: 045-455455

Fax: 045-455456/455604

Website: www.goracing.ie

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is a commercial state body, established under the Horse and Greyhound

Racing Act 2001. Horse Racing Ireland is the national authority for horse racing in Ireland and is

responsible for the overall administration, promotion and development of the industry.

Bord na gCon

104 Henry Street, Limerick

Tel: 061-316788

Fax: 061-316739

Website: www.igb.ie

Bord na gCon is a commercial state body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, chiefly

to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. Bord na gCon

regulates all aspects of greyhound racing in the Republic of Ireland including the licensing of the different

tracks, the issuing of permits to officials, bookmakers, trainers and the implementation of the rules of

racing.


100


appendices

National Milk Agency

IPC House, Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4

Tel: 01 6603396;

Website: www.nationalmilkagency.ie

The National Milk Agency was established in 1994 under the Milk (Regulation of Supply) Act, 1994 and

is responsible for the regulation of the supply of milk for liquid consumption throughout the State. It is

funded by means of a statutory levy on milk used for liquid consumption.

The chairman of the Agency is appointed by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Five

members of the Agency are directly elected by registered producers while the other members are

appointed by the Minister following nominations from designated organisations.

Coillte Teoranta

The Irish Forestry Board, Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow.

Tel: 01 2011111

Website: www.coillte.ie

Coillte Teoranta is a private limited company, which operates in forestry and related activities on a

commercial basis. The company is co-owned by the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Agriculture,

Fisheries and Food. The company was established under the Forestry Act, 1988 which sets out its

objectives and duties.

Veterinary Council of Ireland

53 Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge. Dublin 4.

Tel (01) 6684402

Website: www.vci.ie

The Veterinary Council of Ireland which regulates the practice of veterinary medicine was established on

the 1 January 2006 under Section 11 of the Veterinary Practice Act 2005. The Veterinary Council of Ireland

has 19 members which reflects interests such as education, animal welfare, consumers and food safety

and a balance as between veterinarians and others.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Tel: 01 2144 100

Website; www.bim.ie

Annual Report 2011

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, is the Irish State agency with responsibility for

developing sustainable Irish Sea Fishing and Aquaculture industries. BIM was established under the Sea

Fisheries Act 1952. BIM provides a range of services including advisory, financial, technical, marketing

and training supports to all sectors of the Irish seafood industry. BIM’s primary objective is to expand the

volume, quality and value of output from the seafish and aquaculture sectors by focusing on the

opportunities for growth in these sectors. BIM has a network of international offices in Paris, Madrid

and Dusseldorf.


101


appendices

Marine Institute

Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway

Tel. 091 387 200

Website: www.marine.ie

The Marine Institute (MI) is the national agency with responsibility for Marine Research, Technology

Development and Innovation (RTDI). The Institute was established under the 1991 Marine Institute Act.

The role of the MI is to promote the sustainable development of marine industry through strategic

funding programmes and essential scientific services that safeguard the marine environment through

research and environmental monitoring. The Institute undertakes and co-ordinates marine research and

development that has the potential to promote economic development, create employment and protect

the marine environment.

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA)

West Cork Technology Park

Clonakilty

Co. Cork

Tel: 023 59300

Fax: 023 59720

Website: www.sfpa.ie

Annual Report 2011

The SFPA is the statutory authority responsible for the enforcement of sea-fisheries protection and

seafood safety legislation in the Republic of Ireland and throughout Ireland’s exclusive fishing limits. It

was established under the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 and employs 107 staff. The

Authority was established on the 1st of January, 2007 and its principal responsibilities are to enforce Sea

Fisheries Conservation legislation and Seafood Safety legislation fairly and consistently and to ensure

that the marine fish and shellfish resources from the waters around Ireland are exploited sustainably

and may be consumed safely for the long term benefit of all.


102


appendices

APPENDIX B - VOTE 31- 2011

Annual Report 2011

Administration 237.34

i SALARIES, WAGES AND ALLOWANCES 189.82

ii TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE 7.86

iii TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES 4.72

iv POSTAL AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES 4.65

v OFFICE EQUIPMENT AND EXTERNAL IT SERVICES 17.78

vi OFFICE PREMISES EXPENSES 6.17

vii CONSULTANCY SERVICES AND VALUE FOR MONEY AND POLICY REVIEWS .014

viii SUPPLEMENTARY MEASURES TO PROTECT THE FINANCIAL .588

INTERESTS OF THE EU

ix LABORATORY EQUIPMENT 5.74

A. Agri Food Policy Development & Trade 325.49

A.3 Research & Training 35.19

A.4 Development of Agriculture & Food (farm grants). 20.36

A.5 Teagasc Grant-in-Aid 120.16

A.6 Bord Bia Grant-in-Aid 27.64

A.7 Marine Institute G-in-Aid 24.12

A.8 Bord Iascaigh Mhara G-in-Aid 16.74

A.9 Food Aid Donations - World Food Programme. 9.96

A1 0 Other 14,03

Food and Horticultural Promotion Programme 3.01

Quality Assurance Scheme 3.85

Misc. Pension Payments 1.95

International Cooperation 2.83

Non-Thorough Bred Horses 1.29

Legal 0.82

Other 0.28

A.11 Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund 57.29

HRI 45.83

Bord na gCon 11.46


103


appendices

Annual Report 2011

B. Food Safety, Animal Health,Plant Welfare 121.30

B.3 Food Safety, Animal Health / 121.30

Welfare, Plant Health

Temporary Veterinary Inspectors 19.08

Veterinary Testing and Research 4.53

TB & Brucellosis Eradication 39.75

National Beef Assurance 6.34

Fallen Animals Scheme 5.67

Suckler Cow 30.85

Animal Welfare 3.99

BSE Compensation & Testing 6.58

Scrapie 1.06

Other 3.45

C. Rural Economy and Environment 485.73

C.3 Rural Environment Protection Scheme 277.02

REPS 260.95

Agri Environment Options Schemes 14.11

Other 1.96

C.4 Land Mobility (Early Retirement Sch.Installation Aid) 27.70

Early Retirement Scheme 27.31

Installation Aid/YFIS .39

C.5 Development of Agriculture & Food (farm grants). 40.88

Farm Waste Managemnt 32.64

Farm Improvement Scheme 3.51

Horticulture Industry 3.01

Organic Sector 1.18

TAMS .46

Other .08

C.6 Forestry & Biofuels 116.46

Afforestation 103.83

NDP Support Schemes 8.23

Forestry Research & Development 3.61

Bio Energy 0.43

Other 0.36

C.7 Fisheries 12.76

Fisheries Harbours 10.13

Fish Processing 1.75

Other .88

C.8 Sea Fisheries Protection Authority 10.20

C.9 Other .707


104


appendices

Annual Report 2011

D. Delivery of Client Focussed Schemes and Services 251.50

D.3 Market Supports Operational Costs 17.61

IACS 6.03

Cost of Capital for Purchase of intervention products 4.27

Technical Costs 1.28

School Milk Scheme .72

Financing Fisheries FEOGA Schemes .85

Other 4.46

D.4 Income Support in Disadvanataged Areas 233.76

D.5 Other .13

Total Gross Voted Expenditure 1,421.36

Receipts

Appropriations in Aid

E.1 Recoupment of Salaries -.76

E.2 Forfeited Deposits & Securities under EC intervention -.51

E.3 Refunds Vets Fees -15.24

E.4 Receipts of Vet Fees for Live Exports -1.65

E.5 Dairy Inspection Fees -5.69

E.6 Receipts from Sale of Vaccines etc. -1.28

E.7 Receipts from Seed Testing, certification etc. -1.70

E.8 Receipts from bovine disease levies -5.78

E.9 Land Commission receipts -.41

E.10 Other Receipts -2.29

EU Co Funding Transfers

E.11 Market Intervention co funding receipts -1.05

E.12 Intervention Stock Losses -1.31

E.13 EAFRD co funding (Rural Development) -300.00

E.14 Veterinary Fund -19.57

E.15 Other Guarantee Receipts (Agriculture) -1.04

E.16 Other Guarantee Receipts (EAGF Fisheries) -.92

E.17 NDP Structural Receipts (2000/2006 programme) Capital -3.32

Fisheries Related Receipts

E.18 Fines/Forfeitures for Sea Fishery Offences -.25

E.19 Foreshore Act / State Property Act Receipts -.12

E.20 EU Receipts -- Conservation & Management of Fisheries -.38

E.21 Aquaculture Licence Fees -.69

E.22 EU FIFG Receipt Aquaculture Development 0

E.23 EFF Receipt 0

E.24 Pension Levy -18.25

Total Receipts 382.21

Net Expenditure 1,039.16


105

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