IFA President Joe Healy, Director General Damian McDonald and European Director Liam MacHale met EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and Tom Tynan from his Cabinet in Brussels this week to discuss the possible consequences of a ‘no deal’ Brexit and supports for Irish farmers.
“We stressed to the Commissioner that Irish farmers, particularly in the beef sector, are already suffering huge losses as a consequence of the Brexit decision. Urgent action is needed from the Commission,” he said.
The IFA President said, “The Commissioner was clear that, while Brexit will impact all Member States to varying degrees, no Member State will be more affected than Ireland. He confirmed that the Commission is ready to support Ireland find solutions which deal with the specific challenges facing Irish businesses, not least Irish farmers and the Irish agri-food sector, which has a particular exposure to the UK. In that respect, the Commissioner was clear that the measures available under the CAP and used in other cases of market disturbance would be available”.
The tools used in previous disturbances such as BSE and the Russian import ban included intervention; Aids to Private Storage; and financial aid through additional direct payments. The IFA has calculated that for each 5c/kg change in cattle prices, farmers would need €20 per head direct payment support.
“We also raised the issue of the CAP reform and in particular the need for a strong budget. The reduction in CAP payments has contributed to the drastic situation farmers find themselves in. They cannot take any further cuts,” he said.
The delegation also raised the decision of the Turkish authorities to suspend live cattle imports until mid-February. “We asked Commissioner Hogan to raise the importance of the live export trade with the Turkish authorities during the ‘Global Forum for Food and Agriculture’ in Berlin this week”.