28 May 2013
MINISTER MUST FACE DOWN CIOLOS ON CAP REFORMUncategorized
Addressing thousands of farmers at a protest outside Dublin Castle today (Tues), IFA President John Bryan warned the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to stand his ground against the Commission’s flawed proposals on CAP Reform. He said, “Commissioner Ciolos wants to introduce a mandatory minimum payment, which would be very disruptive to production and it fails to target monies available for redistribution to active farmers. Minister Coveney must reject outright a minimum payment by building strong alliances against the proposal and deliver the flexibilities that were agreed at the March Farm Council”.
He said, “A mandatory minimum payment would destroy the Minister’s approximation model and lead to a level of redistribution that would be hugely damaging for Irish agriculture, and would result in a serious loss in output, jobs and exports for the Irish economy.”
Mr Bryan said the Minister is claiming to have made some progress at yesterday’s meeting, but Irish farmers will judge him on his ability to secure a deal that works for Irish agriculture, which would limit losses in line with what he has told farmers all along. “We are now in the final stages of this negotiation. The Minister received backing from his Farm Council colleagues in March, and he cannot concede anything more to the Commissioner.”
The IFA President said the outcome to CAP Reform must support active, productive farmers. He said any other result would deliver a serious blow to our production base, and would represent political failure by the Minister as it would result in a sell-out of Irish farming.
John Bryan reminded the Minister Coveney that he had referred to the outcome of the March meeting as a ‘watershed moment’ in terms of the flexibilities secured for Ireland. “If these flexibilities are lost, then it will be a watershed moment for his credibility. The Minister for Agriculture must stand his ground and insist that the flexibilities agreed at the March meeting, which did not include a minimum payment, are retained in the final deal.”
<span style=”font-size: 12pt”>The IFA President met the Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos yesterday and told him bluntly that his reforms do not work for Ireland. He said, “The Commissioner is refusing to accept the decision reached in March by the Farm Council and is intent on pushing through a set of proposals that is deeply flawed and ultimately will be a step back in the development of our agricultural sector. There must be no back-tracking on the March Council agreement, which did not include any mandatory minimum payment,” John Bryan stressed.</span>