IFA Rural Development Chairman, Flor McCarthy said that the proposal by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to apply a retrospective criteria of 0.3lu/ha for 2011 to qualify for the 2012 scheme is unfair and should be changed to an average of 0.15lu/ha over the whole year.
Speaking at an IFA meeting in Bantry, West Cork, Flor McCarthy said that applying criteria for 2012 retrospectively should be changed as farmers cannot do anything to amend what happened on their farms last year. If stocking changes apply, farmers should be in a position to fit into that criteria if they so wish.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman also called for an appeals system to be put in place immediately to deal with farmers who may have a problem with the new stocking rate criteria. Consideration must be given to a situation where farmers have difficulties meeting the minimum stocking level due to land quality and low income.
Mr McCarthy said that IFA has already made our views known to the EU Commission on the matter.