At a meeting in Dublin this week, the Minister of Agriculture Simon Coveney told the IFA President John Bryan that he was making some progress to deal with Ireland’s concerns on CAP reform, and especially on securing a flexible payment model based on approximation to protect the Single Farm Payment of farmers.
Minister Coveney told the IFA delegation that he and his Department were involved in intensive lobbying of member states, and were making some progress in getting support for the Irish position on approximation. He said this involves the application of the EU model limiting redistribution of payments between member states to any internal redistribution of the single payment as opposed to the Commission proposal on flat payments and regionalisation.
In addition, John Bryan said Minister Coveney also clarified his position on Greening, stating that any payment must be based on the farmer’s actual single payment as opposed to a flat rate percentage proposed by the EU Commission. John Bryan said this is essential to prevent flattening and to protect production.
John Bryan said any redistribution of SFP payments should be directed at active farmers through a National Reserve and young farmer scheme, based on objective criteria. He also told the Minister that Pillar 11 payments must better support vulnerable sectors and regions.
On the critical issue of the EU budget, he told Minister Coveney the Irish Government must secure a fully funded CAP budget for Ireland including the Single Farm Payment and the important Rural Development budget covering Disadvantage Area payments, REPS, AEOS and other vital farm schemes.
Minister Coveney told the IFA delegation that the Irish position on the EU budget is very strong. He said the Government was determined to do everything to secure full Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 funding.
On the option of coupled payments for vulnerable sectors, Minister Coveney said the Irish position is that if the 10% option on coupling is available to other member states, it must also be available to Ireland. John Bryan together with the IFA Chairmen for Livestock, Dairy, Sheep and Grain as well as the Rural Development chairman reiterated the strong IFA position on CAP 2013 to Minister Coveney. He said we made it very clear to Minister Coveney he must deliver on his commitment to protect the single farm payment and secure a positive outcome for Irish farmers and the agricultural sector