IFA PRESIDENT ACCUSES MINISTER COVENEY OF CAVING INTO COMMISSION ON CAP REFORM

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IFA PRESIDENT ACCUSES MINISTER COVENEY OF CAVING INTO COMMISSION ON CAP REFORM
09 Mar 2013

IFA PRESIDENT ACCUSES MINISTER COVENEY OF CAVING INTO COMMISSION ON CAP REFORM

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<div style=”text-align: center; margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt” align=”center”><b><span style=”font-size: 14pt”>IFA PRESIDENT ACCUSES MINISTER COVENEY OF CAVING IN TO COMMISSION ON CAP REFORM</span></b>
<div style=”text-align: justify; margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt”>Addressing thousands of farmers outside the constituency office of the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney today (Sat), IFA President John Bryan warned the Minister that he is caving in to Commissioner Ciolos and is in danger of delivering a fatal blow to the future of Irish agriculture.
<div style=”text-align: justify; margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt”>John Bryan said the next two weeks would define the prospects for the sector, and there is a responsibility on the Minister to tell the Commission the deal will not work for Ireland. “The current proposals, which would see 80,000 farmers lose up to 40% of their Single Farm Payments, would seriously undermine the <i>Food Harvest 2020 </i>targets.”
<div style=”text-align: justify; margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt”>He said farmers were very angry with the Minister’s approach, which will damage the sector because of the income losses it would impose on our most productive farmers. “Minister Coveney is not being straight with farmers and is downplaying the full impact of the CAP Reform. What farmers want to see from our Minister is a tougher approach with the Commission that will deliver a deal for Irish farming that keeps our active farmers in business, and our expansion plans on target.”
<div style=”text-align: justify”>The IFA President said the debate on the SFP Reform must be about the viability of active farmers and support for primary production, which is the bedrock of our largest indigenous industry, maintaining 300,000 jobs and exports of €9bn.
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<div style=”text-align: justify”>“The Minister has to reject outright a minimum payment. He has to push strongly for objective criteria such as stocking rates and labour units as the basis of minimising losses for productive farmers. IFA is insisting that monies available for redistribution are targeted at active farmers, and not to inactive or hobby farmers, most of whom don’t depend on farming for their living.”
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<div style=”text-align: justify; margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt”>He said, “The Minister’s proposals are effectively capitalising SFP payments into land ownership rather than production, which will be a disaster for land mobility and growth. The CAP proposals on the table are moving too far, too quickly towards a flat payment system, and unless the Minister stands up and shouts stop, irreparable damage will be done to Irish agriculture”.
<div style=”text-align: justify; margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt”>John Bryan said, “Minister Coveney is being rolled over and 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”.

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