IFA President John Bryan has said the proposals in the EU Commission’s leaked document on the CAP 2013 reform must be rejected outright by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and the Government as it would inflict massive economic damage on Irish farming, agricultural production, the food sector, jobs and economic recovery.
John Bryan described the EU proposal that ‘all payment entitlements in a Member State or a region would have a uniform value by 2019’ as a ‘flat-earth’ policy that would wreak havoc on individual farmers and the productive sector.
The IFA President said the Agriculture Minister must defend Ireland’s national envelope and the Single Farm Payment. “These proposals must be rejected strongly by the Minister and replaced with a flexible payment system that reflects our production patterns, and supports active producers and growth in Irish agriculture.”
John Bryan said, “Any proposal to distribute the Single Farm Payment on a uniform per hectare basis within a region is totally unacceptable, as it takes no account of differences in the productive capacity of farmers or land within Member States or regions.”
The IFA President said, “At farm level, it would have an extremely disruptive effect, and would result in many farmers reducing their levels of activity and output. This would have a hugely negative knock-on effect in the agri-food sector, on economic activity in the rural economy in particular, and on our export earnings. Agriculture is growing and has the potential to contribute significantly to Ireland’s economic recovery.”
On greening, John Bryan said farmers already comply with high standards that deliver a significant benefit to the environment. “In the context of the Food Harvest 2020 growth plans for the country, it is critically important that these new greening measures do not restrict the potential of Irish farmers to sustainably grow food production.”