22 Nov 2012
IRELAND MUST REJECT CAP BUDGET CUTS – IFAUncategorized
Farmers are protesting in the European Commission offices in Dublin this afternoon, highlighting their concerns that the CAP Budget will be slashed at the Heads of Government meeting in Brussels today.
Speaking in Brussels following a meeting of farm leaders who are unanimously opposed to any cuts, IFA President John Bryan said, “CAP funding is under threat, which will damage food production, the rural economy and food security. There is a danger of unravelling a Common Agricultural Policy that has worked for over 50 year for food producers and consumers. It delivers high quality food to Europe’s 500 million consumers at reasonable prices, while meeting the highest food safety, animal welfare and environmental standards”.
“Farm income figures are estimated to drop by 22% in 2012, which clearly shows the critical importance of Direct Payments in underpinning farm incomes. The reality is that Direct Payments from Europe will account for more than 90% of farm incomes this year.”
John Bryan said the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must secure Ireland’s full €1.6bn annual CAP allocation. “European Council President van Rompuy has brought forward a set of proposals that would be very damaging for agriculture and must be strongly rejected by Ireland. These proposals would cut €1bn from our funding between 2014 and 2020, resulting in a drop in farm production and jeopardising our growth targets. The Taoiseach must resolutely defend Ireland’s full Single Farm Payment and Rural Development budget.”
The IFA President said he welcomed the strong support from other member states in opposing attempts by van Rompuy to reduce spending on agriculture. At a meeting with the FNSEA in Dublin this week, John Bryan welcomed the strong solidarity from the French farm leaders to fight to defend the overall EU CAP Budget. The FNSEA and IFA leaders had a very constructive meeting on CAP reform with the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney who will be taking over as President of the Farm Council in January 2013.
Mr Bryan said he has spoken at length with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny this week, and he re-iterated the importance of farming and food to the Irish economy, and how farm production relies on a strong CAP. IFA wants all Government resources devoted to preserving the EU Budget at existing levels to ensure Irish farm families remain viable.