22 Feb 2013
Dublin Declaration of European farm leaders seeks flexible payment system in CAP ReformBrussels
European farm leaders have signed a Declaration at the meeting of COPA-COGECA in Dublin today (Fri), outlining the importance of a flexible payment system for Member States in the CAP Reform.
In advance of a critical Agricultural Council of Ministers next Monday, IFA President John Bryan said the Declaration, which has been signed by the leaders of eleven farm organisations including the French farm organisation FNSEA and the Spanish organisations ASAJA and UPA, sends a strong message that the CAP Reform must support production at farm level.
The Declaration states that a rapid movement away from the historical reference towards a flat payment will jeopardise recent investments, create massive disruption at farm level and ultimately, undermine production. Any movement from the historical reference must be minimal, with adjustments to payments made over a long timeframe.
John Bryan said the Declaration also states that Member States must have the option of a flexible payment system that supports production. In addition, damaging losses at farm level must be avoided by limiting the loss in direct payments that any individual active farmer can incur through redistribution.
John Bryan said, The purpose of the Single Farm Payment is to support high quality food production. Movement to a flat rate payment per hectare, regardless of enterprise or activity, will undermine production and remove any possibility of reaching the Food Harvest 2020 growth targets.
The Commissions proposal for flattening and regionalisation of the Single Farm Payment is simplistic, wrong, and totally unacceptable. A flat payment will cause major disruption and loss of income and viability at farm level, damaging our most productive farmers. Ireland requires a flexible payment model that limits the loss over the longest time frame for active productive farmers. Objective criteria, such as labour units and minimum stocking rates must also be used to ensure that redistributed monies are targeted at active farmers.