IFA President Tim Cullinan held his first meeting with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Barry Cowen this afternoon.
Tim Cullinan said it was a constructive engagement with Minister Cowen and his Ministers of State Pippa Hackett and Martin Heydon.
“The key issue for us is the next CAP Budget. We emphasised the importance of defending farm incomes through Pillar I. Our message to Minister Cowen was clear: the Taoiseach Micheál Martin has to push for more funding at his first EU Council meeting next week,” he said.
“We are very concerned that the current allocation for Pillar I is not even sufficient to pay farmers the same Basic Payment in 2021 as they got this year. We want to see an increased overall budget to cover inflation and any extra asks on farmers,” he said.
“Asking farmers to do more with less funding is a no-go. Minister Cowen acknowledged the case we made and committed to continue to fight for increased funding,” he said.
The IFA delegation, which included the Deputy President Brian Rushe and Director General Damian McDonald, also raised the €50m fund for beef finishers. “We made it clear to the Minister that the funding has to be released immediately and without unnecessary conditions or red tape,” he said.