The maintenance of a strong CAP budget and the full protection of the Single Farm Payment under the CAP 2013 negotiations were two of the key issues agreed at a bilateral meeting between the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Ulster Farmers’ Union in Dublin last week.
The leaders of the IFA and UFU Livestock and Sheep Committees discussed a range of issues including CAP 2013, Schmallenberg disease, discussion groups and market prospects for beef and lamb.
On CAP 2013, the IFA and UFU are very strong on protecting the CAP budget and the Single Farm Payment, particularly considering the low incomes in the livestock and sheep sectors. In addition, both groups are clear that the Single Farm Payment must remain with active productive farmers. On Greening, both the IFA and UFU are against the necessity for a new scheme involving a 30% cut to the SFP and strongly oppose the additional bureaucracy associated with a new scheme. In addition, the IFA and UFU Livestock Committees consider coupling is a real option that must be looked at in these negotiations.
Both the IFA and the UFU highlighted the necessity of maintaining a strong Rural Development budget to support LFA payments and Agri Environmental schemes which make up a very important component of incomes on livestock and sheep farms.
On Schmallenberg disease and biosecurity, the IFA and UFU highlighted the need for all sections of the livestock industry on the entire island of Ireland to act responsibly and remain particularly vigilant at this time.
The meeting also held a discussion on the details of the new beef discussion groups recently launched by Minister Coveney and discussed the issue of lamb promotion and consumption.
The UFU delegation included Harry Sinclair Deputy President, Ray Elkin UFU Chairman Beef and Sheep Committee, Robert Davidson UFU Vice Chairman Beef and Lamb Committee and Gill Gallagher UFU Policy office.
The IFA delegation included Henry Burns IFA National Livestock Chairman, James Murphy IFA National Sheep Chairman and Kevin Kinsella IFA Director of Livestock.