The IFA Executive Council unanimously endorsed the Association’s strong policy position on the CAP 2013 negotiations following a special meeting in Dublin this week.
After the meeting the IFA President John Bryan said the key issues in CAP 2013 for Irish farmers are securing a fully funded CAP Budget for both Pillar I and Pillar II, strong opposition to flattening and regionalisation of the Single Farm Payment and securing changes to the 30% Greening proposal.
John Bryan said IFA is determined that the CAP post-2013 must support active farmers, underpin production and assist agriculture in contributing to our economic recovery. He said IFA strongly rejects the proposals for a flat rate payment and regionalisation, the 30% Greening and other cuts to the Single Farm Payment.
John Bryan said any redistribution of the Single Farm Payment cannot undermine farm viability and must be spread out over the longest timeframe possible. Redistribution should be directed towards active farmers, young farmers and the National Reserve as well as coupled payments for vulnerable sectors.
The IFA President stated, “Minister Coveney and the Government must maintain a tough bargaining position for Ireland and ensure that full funding for the SFP and Rural Development is secured. Any changes to the SFP after 2013 must minimise disruption at farm level, and maximise the productive base. Any other outcome will undermine the viability of thousands of farm businesses and be a massive setback for our Food Harvest 2020 growth targets.”
As part of the IFA campaign to retain a strong, fully funded CAP, John Bryan said Minister Coveney must toughen his position in the negotiations and build alliances with other member states. Ireland must get real flexibility to deal with the issues of protecting the Single Farm Payment and preventing flattening, Greening and protecting market supports, all of which are vital to achieve a satisfactory result.
The IFA Executive Council set out the Association’s demands on CAP 2013 which can be summarised as follows:
A fully funded CAP Budget
Ireland must retain its full €1.2bn SFP and €350m Rural Development allocations.
The Single Farm Payment must be fully protected
Strong opposition to flattening and regionalisation – Payments must support active farmers, and underpin production.
Greening cannot be used as a mechanism to flatten the Single Farm Payment. Greening must be at a lower rate and avoid extra costs or bureaucracy.
Problems arising from a future reference year, such as 2014, must be resolved.
Effective and properly funded market support measures to deal with price volatility
SFP deductions for national reserve and other areas must be limited
Option of Coupled payments for vulnerable sectors
No cuts to Disadvantaged Area payments or other vital Rural Development measures in Pillar II.
50% national co-funding for Rural Development programme
Protection of the existing Less Favoured Areas in the ongoing review at EU level