IFA President Eddie Downey held what he described as a very constructive bilateral meeting with the German Farmers’ Association in Berlin last week.
The IFA President, General Secretary Pat Smith, and Director of European Affairs Liam Mac Hale met with DBV President Joachim Rukwied, and Bernhard Krüsken General Secretary DBV.
The organisations discussed the worsening situation on dairy farms and were clear that the Commissioner in Brussels must take immediate action by agreeing to review intervention and make the €900m in superlevy fines paid by farmers available to assist the sector. German farmers are currently being paid 26-27/cent per litre, at least 5 cent below the cost of production.
The future direction of CAP was discussed in detail and both organisations agreed to progress a series of principles with likeminded organisations and COPA to present to the Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan before the end of this year. Both President said that a strong well-funded CAP was critical to underpin future food security and to maintain the viability of family farms. Simplification was also agreed as a priority objective.
On trade deals both organisations said that European negotiators must ensure equivalence of standards for Europe’s meat sectors in any final deal with America.
On climate change the powerful German Farmers Organisation had the same concerns as Ireland and committed to work to ensure that parts of the world that can sustainably produce food for the world growing population are not penalised for doing so.