IFA President Joe Healy said the re-appointment of Phil Hogan as Ireland’s EU Commissioner is an opportunity for Ireland to secure a portfolio that allows Ireland to have the maximum influence on EU policy.
“Commissioner Hogan will be facing some very serious challenges, particularly from the next CAP Budget and reform; Brexit; trade deals; and climate action,” he said.
“While farmers are very angry and frustrated with the EU Commission over the Mercosur trade deal, overall it has been important to have a strong Irish voice steering agricultural policy at EU level,” he said.
Joe Healy said the work done by Commissioner Hogan in tackling unfair trading practices was an important step towards a fairer food chain for farmers. “Whatever portfolio the Commissioner Hogan is allocated in the new Commission, we hope he will continue to drive this issue,” he said.
“Commissioner Hogan also played a key role in delivering a €100m Brexit Aid package for Irish farmers, the details of which are being finalised by Minister Creed. However, the Brexit threat is bigger than it ever was. Prices for cattle and sheep are currently unsustainable and farmers will need further support,” he said.
“The next CAP will have a hugely significant impact on the future direction of Irish farming. It is important to have a Commissioner who understands how important it is for Irish agriculture. We expect Phil Hogan to make a very strong case for CAP funding. The advantage and experience of holding a second term is something that must be maximised,” he said.
“Through our Brussels office, we look forward to maintaining a high level of engagement with the Commissioner and his officials on behalf of Irish farmers,” he said.