24 Apr 2013
MINISTER COVENEY’S MUST FACE DOWN CIOLOS PLAN FOR MINIMIUM PAYMENT- IFAUncategorized
Reacting to the outcome of this week’s Farm Council meeting in Luxembourg, IFA President John Bryan said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, as President of the Council, needs to face down Commissioner Ciolos damaging proposals for a minimum payment, and insist that the Commission accepts the agreement and flexibilities reached on CAP at the March Farm Council of Ministers meeting.
Following meetings with senior EU Commission officials in Brussels last week, John Bryan said it is obvious Commissioner Ciolos is trying to steamroll through a very damaging minimum payment proposal, as a backdoor method of flattening.
He said a 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 also be eroded. He said this would inflict massive additional cuts on farmers, seriously undermine their viability and could force regionalisation on the country.
John Bryan also called on Irish MEP’s to show their worth and come out strongly backing the Farm Council agreement on the CAP. He said rather telling farmers about what might happen, the Irish MEP’s need to actively campaign to ensure that the European Parliament supports the flexibilities secured in the March Farm Council agreement.
He said the next two months are critical, and Minister Coveney must ensure no further cuts are conceded to Commissioner Ciolos in the ongoing trilogue discussions with the European Parliament and the European Commission.
“Minister Coveney has a job to do as President of the Farm Council, but he must prioritise 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 totally opposed to flattening and regionalisation or a minimum payment. 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. The recent UCD study commissioned by IFA highlights the importance of direct payments to farmers in the cattle and sheep sectors.
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. On LFAs, John Bryan said the Minister must use the flexibilities in the criteria to retain the maximum area currently designated.</span>