Speaking at the first trans-national BovINE meeting for the European Beef industry organised by Poland, IFA National Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said the EU Commission must address the serious contradictions and lack of policy co-ordination under the Green deal, CAP and Trade policy.
“Under the Green Deal, the EU is driving up costs and want organic production standards at conventional prices, while at the same time under the Mercosur trade deal, the Commission is importing beef that fails to meet EU standards and would be illegal to produce in the EU.”
The online BovINE meeting entitled Sustainable Beef farming; Policy and Practice in the context of the Green Deal was also addressed by the Polish Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Grzegorz Puda, Thomas Sanchez from the EU COPA-Cogeca Beef and Veal Group and Jacek Zarzecki, President of the Polish Association of Beef Cattle Breeders and Producers.
Brendan Golden said the Green Deal is very ambitious and will have a major impact on farming. “It’s a top down driven plan from the EU Commission and needs detailed assessment based on facts and solid science.”
The IFA Livestock Leader said the EU family farm model and economic sustainability needs to be placed at the top of the Green deal agenda by both politicians and policy makers.
On the Green Deal and CAP, Brendan Golden said the EU Commission must learn the hard lessons from Covid-19 and recognise the importance of health, food security and food sovereignty for Europe.
“Never was it more important in the history of the European Union to have a strong EU and CAP Budget which underpins a strong CAP and a sustainable and resilient food supply chain based on family farms,” he said.
Brendan Golden farmers are the key in terms of delivering on the environment sustainability but their economic sustainability is critical. The Green Deal makes it clear that farmers earn only half of the average EU worker. He said “Farmers cannot be green if they are always in the red.”
On the priorities for the CAP, Brendan Golden said with the EU CAP budget negotiations concluded, the funding issues now turns to the Irish Government and the critical need for very strong co-financing.
“Important issues include targeted payment for vulnerable sectors like suckler cows and a payment for carbon sequestration additional to the CAP budget.”
He said farmers are also very concerned about eco scheme proposals in Pillar I, which involve additional environmental compliance without any additional budget.