Alliance Leader backs joined-up government boost for local farmers

Alliance Leader David Ford has welcomed assurances from the new Environment and Agriculture Ministers that they will work together to the ensure best deal for local farmers. On Thursday morning at her speech to the DARD breakfast at the Balmoral Show, Michelle Gildernew, the new Minister accepted that in the past, DARD and the DOE had failed to co-operate fully – for example on issues like farm inspection.

David Ford, Alliance Agriculture Spokesperson said: “I welcome the fact that Michelle Gildernew stated her intention to ensure greater co-operation between DARD and the DOE. Following Michelle Gildernew’s statement, later that morning at the Assembly Environment Committee I was able to put the same point to Arlene Foster, the DOE Minister.

“She welcomed my question and indicated that it was her intention to ensure the maximum co-operation between the two departments.

“I have since been told that meetings between officials have already taken place.

“I welcome this willingness on the part of both new Ministers to work closely together. The Department of Agriculture no longer stands alone – there are many issues where the Department of Environment has a role and I look forward to seeing increased co-operation between the two in future. This will be of major benefit to farmers and others living in rural areas, and I intend to keep up the pressure to ensure it happens.”


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