IFA President John Bryan said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney’s latest statement on the redistribution of the Single Farm Payment is a massive shock for productive farmers and is totally unacceptable.
Mr Bryan said, “Farmers are alarmed and outraged at the backtracking by Minister Coveney. Only three weeks ago, the Minister confirmed in the Irish Farmers Journal that he was determined to limit any reductions in the ‘gross SFP’ to a maximum 10-15%. However, the Minister has now shifted his position substantially by saying that the deductions for greening will come on top of this, and actually result in total SFP cuts of well over 30% for thousands of active farmers.”
“This is a disastrous negotiating position for Ireland and is totally out of line with IFA’s stated policy, that any changes to the SFP after 2013 must minimise disruption at farm level, and maximise the productive base and the contribution of the agri-food sector to the economy.”
John Bryan said, “The scale of redistribution set out by the Minister is totally at variance with what he has been saying publicly, and to IFA, up to now. Such an outcome would gravely undermine the viability of thousands of farm businesses and be a massive setback for our Food Harvest 2020 growth targets.”
“Farmers will hold the Minister to account on his statement in the Journal earlier this month that the reform ‘must not see a shift in payments from productive to less productive agriculture’.”
The IFA President said he has sought an immediate meeting with Minister Coveney. “I will be telling the Minister that he must dig in and toughen his negotiating position significantly, if he is to deliver a CAP reform that supports active farmers and limits cuts in the gross SFP, including greening.”