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Minister Hayes Opens Mushroom Conference

Tom Hayes T.D, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine opened the All Ireland Mushroom Conference and Trade Show at the Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan today.

Speaking at the event, Minister Hayes congratulated the industry for the close collaboration stating that “the close working relationships within the industry and between North and South is important for the continued development of the industry”. He highlighted the fact that this co-operation had allowed the industry to submit a programme for EU funding for the promotion of mushrooms in Ireland and the UK. He stated that “this had generated very positive results and will benefit the whole of the industry“.

The Minister also spoke of the Government’s commitment to mushrooms and the wider horticultural sector. He said that the “Government had provided horticultural investment funding of €4.2 million in Tuesday’s budget and that this should assist the industry in investing in new technology and keeping the industry to the fore”. He urged the industry to make the most of this funding opportunity.

The Minister emphasised the continuing need for the industry to be sustainable by improving yield and quality of production. Referring to the ongoing development of the mushroom industry in becoming a world leader in innovation and marketing, the Minister stated that this was “entirely in line with the overall approach of Harvest 2020 where we set ambitious targets for key sectors of the agricultural industry to be leaders in their field”. He added that “Growers must continue to invest resources in staff training and development so as to maximise their returns and to ensure that the product attains the best price available”.

Finally the Minister congratulated Teagasc in initiating consultations with all stakeholders and producing a comprehensive proposal for the development of the industry up to 2020. He said he “commended Teagasc and all the stakeholders for contributing to the deliberations and indicated that he looked forward to receiving the report in due course”.

The Minister also welcomed the ongoing close collaboration between his Department and the wider mushroom industry stating that this “should ensure that the targets and recommendations in the report were delivered”.