Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman and member of the Stormont Agriculture and Culture Committees, has called on the Farming Minister to ensure that food security is “firmly placed on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) agenda.
Assemblyman Swann is North Antrim UUP Association Chairman and a Past President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster as well as Past Chairman of the influential Rural Youth Europe organisation.
Mr Swann’s challenge to the Minister came after he questioned her at Stormont on the issue of food security.
The North Antrim MLA said: “I asked Minister Michelle O’Neill if she or the Republic’s Farming Minister Simon Coveney raised any concerns about the fact that food security is not mentioned in the CAP reform?
“Is it intended that either of you will bring it to the table in the discussions, I said.
“In her response to me, Minister O’Neill said food security is always on the agenda. The proposals, as drafted, do nothing to enhance our food security.
“She said we have to keep putting that point to the Commission. What is it that it is looking for? Food security is apparently moving up the Commission’s agenda, but that does not seem to be borne out in the current proposals.
“We are very concerned about food security, and it is always on the radar of the discussion on the entire CAP reform, Minister O’Neill told me,” said Assemblyman Swann.