MINISTER COVENEY’S OVERRIDING FOCUS MUST BE ON GETTING A DEAL FOR IRISH AGRICULTURE – IFA

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MINISTER COVENEY’S OVERRIDING FOCUS MUST BE ON GETTING A DEAL FOR IRISH AGRICULTURE - IFA
19 Mar 2013

MINISTER COVENEY’S OVERRIDING FOCUS MUST BE ON GETTING A DEAL FOR IRISH AGRICULTURE – IFA

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Speaking from Brussels, IFA President John Bryan warned that Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney’s primary focus in the CAP talks must be on securing a deal that works for Irish agriculture.
 
“I realise that Minister Coveney has a job to do as President of the Farm Council, but he cannot neglect his duty to Irish farmers during the negotiations. It is vital that the Minister rejects the most negative aspects of Commissioner Ciolos’ proposals, and delivers an outcome that supports active productive farmers in Ireland.”
 
John Bryan said IFA remains opposed to flattening and regionalisation or a mandatory minimum payment.  “Opposition to both proposals is building among farm organisations across Europe, as there is growing recognition that they will cause immense damage to production at farm level.”
 
Mr Bryan said forcing a mandatory minimum payment on Ireland would completely negate the outcome suggested by the Minister under his approximation model, and any benefits that could accrue from a flexible greening option would be eroded. The IFA President said a minimum payment would take money from productive farmers and redistribute it to inactive farmers who produce little. “This is unfair and unacceptable. IFA is insisting that monies available for re-distribution are targeted at active farmers with low payments, using objective criteria such as stocking rates and the option of coupling.” 
 
He said the future viability of tens of thousands of productive farm families and the delivery of growth plans in <i>Food Harvest 2020</i> are totally dependent on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney securing a deal that works for agriculture in this country.
  
“As the proposals stand, 80,000 farmers would lose over €250m from their Single Farm Payment. This will result in income losses of between 30% and 50% for tens of thousands of farm families totally undermining their viability. Farmers in every parish, and of every size and enterprise, will suffer significant losses.”
   
Mr Bryan said the Minister must also commit 50:50 co-financing for the next R<span>ural Development programme for the next seven years to support vulnerable regions and vulnerable sectors.</span> 

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