19 May 2015
FARMERS EXPECT MINISTER COVENEY TO HONOUR HIS COMMITMENT ON FARMERS’ CHARTER
IFA Deputy President Tim O Leary said farmers expect the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to honour his commitment on finalising a new Charter of Rights for farmers.
He said farmers were promised a new Charter to coincide with the implementation of the new CAP, which commenced on Jan 1st 2015. “Farmers are extremely frustrated with the lack of progress from Minister Coveney in finalising a new Charter of Farmers’ Rights. It’s time the Minister delivered fair play for all farm families, as he promised in recent weeks during the by-election campaign in Carlow-Kilkenny.”
Tim O’Leary said the failure of the Minister to act has allowed the negotiations on the new Charter to get bogged down on inspections, with no movement by the Department. He said, “Minister Coveney has to intervene in this logjam, resolve the key outstanding issues, and insist that a new, improved Charter is implemented without further delay”.
IFA is demanding that the new Charter incorporates fair notice of inspection, the elimination of duplication, a reduction in overall inspections as well as increased tolerances and a new yellow card system for unintentional non compliances.
The IFA Deputy President said farmers had become increasingly frustrated at the burden of bureaucracy, unannounced inspections, land eligibility and other penalties being imposed by an inflexible and unfair EU regime.
Tim O Leary said that the IFA had engaged constructively with the Department of Agriculture for over a year on a new Charter to address farmer concerns. Progress has been made on many issues, including improved payment deadlines. However he said farmer patience with the process had run out over the failure of the Minister to take a hands-on approach to resolve the inspection issues.