28 Feb 2013
MINISTER HIDING FACTS ON CAP REFORM FROM FARMERS – IFAUncategorized
IFA President John Bryan has accused the Minister of Agriculture Simon Coveney of hiding the facts on CAP Reform from farmers by refusing to divulge the extent of the Single Farm Payment losses they will incur as a result of new proposals he put forward at this week’s Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels.
John Bryan said, “Media reports today suggest the Minister has briefed his backbench colleagues, but warned them not to reveal the details of the discussion. Thousands of the country’s most productive farmers, whose Single Farm Payment will be decimated by the proposals, have a right to know the implications of what he is negotiating. The Minister cannot keep farmers in the dark”.
He said the Minister cannot allow the sell-out of the productive sector of Irish agriculture, which will be to the forefront in delivering the <i>Food Harvest 2020 </i>targets. John Bryan challenged the Minister to come clean and accurately spell out in detail the combined SFP payment losses arising from these CAP Reform proposals.
John Bryan said Ministers Coveney’s new proposal for a minimum payment system seriously undermines his original position on approximation, which he promoted extensively around the country last year.
In a clear warning to Minister Coveney, John Bryan said it was totally unacceptable that thousands of farmers could lose up to 40% or more on their existing SFP by 2019. “From the outset, IFA has opposed Commissioner Ciolos’ proposals on flattening and regionalisation. Minister Coveney is conceding way too much in a bid to secure an EU deal in these negotiations. Irish farmers expect him to toughen his stance and defend their interests now in advance of any final discussions.”
John Bryan said the IFA has argued strongly that objective criteria such as stocking rates and labour units must be the basis of minimising losses for productive farmers. He said, “IFA is not opposed to some level of redistribution, but it must be implemented using objective criteria and targeted at active productive farmers.”
The IFA President said Minister Coveney appears to have thrown in the towel on coupled payments and as things stand in Brussels today, objective criteria seems to be forgotten about. He said the Council’s proposal’s this week are moving too far, too quickly towards a flat payment system, and unless the Minister stands up and shouts stop, irreparable damage will be imposed on Irish agriculture.