Following a bi-lateral meeting with the President of the French farmers’ union Xavier Beulin, IFA President Eddie Downey welcomed the strong support from FNSEA for issues of concern to Irish farmers.
Eddie Downey said the FNSEA is very supportive of IFA’s position on trade deals and is opposed to any outcome that would damage family farming in Europe. “President Beulin agreed with us that we have to very vigilant on TTIP and Mercosur. European negotiators cannot be allowed to bargain away agriculture and will have to insist on quantities, equivalence of standards and end-use control to ensure our key European markets are not undermined.”
The two Presidents discussed the mid-term review of CAP and stressed the importance of re-focusing the policy. “We both committed to working closely with the next EU Commissioner for Agriculture to ensure there is priority for active, productive farmers. Further research and development of the sector will also have to feature.”
Retailer regulation at EU level also featured in the bi-lateral, with Eddie Downey assuring the FNSEA that he would continue to press for robust legislation in his role as Chairman of the COPA Food Chain group.
On climate change, the two farm leaders said the sustainable growth of the agricultural sector in Europe cannot be impeded by rigid limits on production.
Eddie Downey and Xavier Beulin discussed a range of competitiveness issues, including input costs, EU bureaucracy and inspections, and concerns in relation to eligible land.