IFA President Welcomes Strong Commitments on Cap Funding + Mercosur Trade Deal

IFA President John Bryan has welcomed the strong commitments given by the leaders of the main political parties to defend Ireland’s CAP budget and the Single Farm Payment post-2013. He was speaking following today’s meeting of the IFA Executive Council, which heard presentations from Enda Kenny, Micheal Martin and Eamon Gilmore.

Mr Bryan acknowledged the pledge by the Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny to work closely with his colleagues in the EPP as the negotiations around the future of the CAP gather pace. He said, “Micheal Martin, Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore were left in no doubt that the new Government must ensure that Ireland retains 100% of our Single Farm Payment for active farmers.”

All the party leaders promised to mount strong opposition to any Mercosur deal, which would devastate our beef sector and destroy our prospects of achieving the potential identified in Food Harvest. Mr Bryan said this commitment was welcomed by the Executive Council.

The Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith, who attended the meeting with Micheal Martin, said the AEOS for farmers leaving REPs would be open before St Patrick’s Day. “AEOS is one of the vital farm schemes that are crucial to support farm families and our productive base. It is very important that it opens well ahead of the Single Farm Payment in May.”

The IFA President said it was emphasised to each of the party leaders and their agricultural spokesmen, including Andrew Doyle of Fine Gael and Sean Sherlock of Labour, that there must be an AEOS scheme for farmers leaving REPs3 in 2011 and 2012. “Otherwise the viability of thousands of low-income farmers would be undermined.”

“The next Government must also address the country’s competitiveness. For example, there must be no further increase in the carbon tax on agricultural diesel and a serious reduction in red tape.”

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