IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey met with the new Chairman of the EU Commission Sheep Reflection Group, John Bryan together with the leader of the French sheep farmers, Michele Boudouin in Ireland last week to discuss common issues on sheep ahead of the forthcoming meetings of the new sheep group in Brussels.
John Lynskey said “We had a very positive meeting with John Bryan and our French colleagues. We identified a number of key issues that need to be addressed as part of the EU group, including viable lamb prices, low farm incomes, increased production costs, market access and trade issues, breeding, consumption and promotions, and increased direct supports including couple payments for sheep.”
The first meeting of the New EU Reflection group on sheep will take place in Brussels on November 12th and will be chaired by John Bryan. The new Group has been set up by EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan.
John Lynskey said the EU Commission has invited the IFA, as the representative body for sheep farmers in Ireland, to participate in the new Reflection Group, which has been established to examine the future of the sheep meat sector.
John Lynskey said the new EU group presents a real opportunity to address the shortcomings in the sheep policy area. He said ”This is a welcome development and provides an opportunity for the Minister for Agriculture and the EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan to make progress and secure a viable future for sheep farmers.”