IFA President John Bryan has warned the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney that Irish farmers are expecting him to stand his ground and face down Commissioner Ciolos in order to deliver a deal on CAP Reform which supports active productive farmers.
The IFA President said, “Irish farmers are saying no to flattening, no to regionalisation and no to any further redistribution that fails to target active productive farmers. The Ciolos proposal for a mandatory minimum payment will be rejected by Irish farmers. IFA is calling a protest to highlight farmers’ opposition to any such requirement at the informal Agriculture Council meeting taking place in Dublin in ten days’ time”.
John Bryan said the decisions reached at the March Farm Council provided important flexibilities for Ireland including approximation, variable greening and coupled payments, which Minister Coveney described as a ‘watershed agreement’. Even with this, tens of thousands of farmers will still lose significant amounts of their Single Farm Payment.
“I am saying to Minister Coveney: there can be no back-tracking on the March Council agreement, no further cuts or concessions. The Minister must hold out for his approximation model as the limit of redistribution that Irish farmers can tolerate.”
The IFA President said the Minister for Agriculture must remain firmly focused on securing the best deal for Irish agriculture and Irish farm families. The next number of weeks will be very important particularly in terms of maintaining the flexibilities secured at the March Agriculture Council meeting.
Mr Bryan said IFA has consistently rejected flattening and regionalisation and opposed minimum payments as they will cause major disruption at farm level and damage production in every county in Ireland. He said the Single Farm Payment must reward farmers for their hard work and investment in producing food.
The IFA President has again called on the Minister to come out and give a firm commitment to provide 50:50 co-financing for the Rural Development Programme.