11 May 2012
IFA PRESIDENT SETS OUT ISSUES FOR AGRI SECTOR AT CONFERENCE OF COUNTY AND CITY COUNCILSUncategorized
Addressing the Annual Conference of the Association of County and City Councils in Kilkenny this morning, IFA President John Bryan set out the vital contribution of farm families to the rural and wider economy, and the thousands of jobs that farming supports in food processing, inputs and services.
John Bryan said IFA has a clear position in supporting the Stability Treaty and is running a very proactive campaign, which includes communicating directly with our membership on the importance of remaining at the centre of Europe.
He said, “The Government must be more supportive in ensuring that farm schemes such as AEOS and Disadvantaged Areas remain in place to retain the viability of low-income farmers.”
Mr Bryan was very critical of the decision by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to cut retrospectively Disadvantaged Area payments for thousands of producers on marginal land. “This is unfair and must be addressed. The Minister must also ensure that a new AEOS is announced as soon as possible.”
The IFA President said a positive outcome on the CAP negotiations would be very important for the expansion plans of the sector. “There are serious aspects of the Commission’s plans that are totally unacceptable, as they would cause significant disruption to production at farm level. Ireland must secure flexibilities to avoid undermining active producers.”
Concluding, John Bryan said efforts to improve our competitiveness must continue as this would play a key role in aiding farming and food achieve the growth targets of <i>Food Harvest 2020.</i>