In response to the draft communication from EU Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan, on the reform of the CAP Post 2020, IFA President Joe Healy has said an increased CAP budget is essential to ensure that the future CAP is effective and fit for purpose.
He said, “In contrast to the economic landscape of the last CAP reform, we are in the position today where the EU economy is growing again. In this economic environment, securing an increased budget to deliver a positive CAP reform must be the key priority for Commissioner Hogan”.
The IFA President welcomed Commissioner Hogan’s strong commitment to future direct payments under the CAP post 2020. He said “The Commissioner has consistently make it very clear that direct payments will be the main CAP instrument to support farm incomes.”
Joe Healy said “Low farm income in many sectors continues to provide the major challenge to the sustainability of farming enterprises across the EU, and in attracting new entrants into farming. The CAP post 2020 must deliver a fair standard of living for farmers, with an overall improvement in farm income levels”.
The IFA President said retaining the two pillar model of CAP is critical. He said “the Rural Development Programme, with its diverse range of flexible instruments, is vitally important in supporting targeted programmes that reflect the different economic, social and environmental circumstances in Member States”.
The IFA President said in setting the key policy parameters of the CAP post 2020, Commissioner Hogan has a real opportunity to ensure that direct payments strongly support active farmers, based upon relevant and objective criteria.
Joe Healy said the delivery of environmental public goods and enhanced production EU standards have a real value and this must be reflected in the direct payments farmers receive in the next CAP.
The IFA President concluded that Commissioner Hogan has identified simplification as a key ambition in this CAP Reform. He said simplification must deliver real practical results with reduced bureaucracy at farm level.