IFA President John Bryan said the latest EU Commission leaked proposal to introduce a new Single Farm Payment entitlement system commencing in 2014, combined with last month’s proposal to move to flat rate payments by 2019, makes no sense whatsoever and cannot be allowed to happen. He said, “A system based on a future reference date is deeply flawed and unworkable as it will totally undermine productive farmers who have invested heavily in developing their businesses.”
Speaking at the ASA conference in Maynooth today (Fri), John Bryan said, “The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must act with urgency ahead of the publication of the official proposals on October 12<sup>th</sup>. The Minister must avoid the catastrophic disruption to our existing production base that could occur in the run-up to 2014, by addressing active farmer concerns relating to a future reference period.”
He must also secure a flexible payment system that will ensure the Single Farm Payment in Ireland is targeted towards active, productive farmers.
The IFA president continued, “The Commission’s proposals on greening, which include requirements for crop rotation, permanent pasture and the maintenance of ecological focus areas, are excessive and extremely rigid. They have the potential to undermine farmers’ business decisions and investment plans, and will also create a whole new level of bureaucracy and red-tape.”
John Bryan said, “the Disadvantaged Area Payments must be fully protected within Pillar II, and there must be no movement of payments from Pillar I to Pillar II, as is proposed.”
He concluded, “Overall, the Commission’s leaked proposals have the potential to seriously undermine agricultural production in Ireland, with a very damaging impact on the agri-food industry, jobs, exports and agriculture’s contribution to economic recovery.”