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IFA in Brussels

Ahead of the plenary vote on meat and dairy denominations in the EU Parliament this week, the IFA has written to Irish MEPs urging them to accept both amendments to protect our industry and its consumers.

These amendments will succeed in securing words such as ‘steak’, ‘sausage’, ‘escalope’, ‘burger’ or ‘hamburger’ for products that exclusively contain meat; and ‘milk’, ‘cheese’, ‘yoghurt’, ‘butter’ or ‘whey’ for products that exclusively contain dairy.

IFA President Tim Cullinan said, “We simply cannot have plant-based products deliberately disguised as something they are not. It’s deliberately misleading to our consumers and undermines our industry”.

“Private companies want to cash in on our reputation and use it to sell their products.  There is a powerful lobby in Europe to reject these amendments, so it’s crucial that our MEPs listen to farmers on the ground and adopt them,” he said.

IFA President Tim Cullinan said this week would be an important one for the design of the framework for the new CAP with the European Parliament voting on amendments and Agriculture Ministers meeting.

“The reality is that the new CAP will give Member States more flexibility to design their own strategic plans, but the enabling legislation will still be crucial,” he said.

The EU Commission confirmed to IFA last week that there would now be a two-year CAP transition period. So, the new CAP will not commence until January 1st, 2023.

“We understand that 1,940 amendments have been tabled before the Parliament this week. It is important to remember that the CAP cannot do everything. The focus of the CAP must remain on supporting farmers to produce safe, nutritious food sustainably for the benefit of consumers in Europe and beyond,” he said.

“Farming must be sustainable economically as well as environmentally. Many aspects of the CAP proposals and the EU Green Deal will put more cost on farmers without any extra return. This is not sustainable,” he said.

The IFA Office in Brussels has been working closely with the European umbrella body COPA and our European counterparts to ensure that the views of farmers are to the fore in the debate.

Once the Parliament has completed the process of voting on these amendments the process will enter the trilogue stage where the EU Parliament, the EU Commission and the EU Council will attempt to come to a common position.

“The CAP rules and the new strategic plans will be vital for the future of farming. Farmers are experiencing falling prices, yet more costs are being imposed on them. We need to strike the right balance to ensure economic as well as environmental sustainability,” he said.


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