In advance of the visit by EU Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos to Ireland on Friday, John Bryan said the EU Commission proposals on the reform of the CAP are totally unacceptable to Ireland, as they will decimate the incomes of tens of thousands of the most productive farmers, and slash the Rural Development funding that is so critical to vulnerable sectors and regions. John Bryan will again deliver this message to Commissioner Ciolos during his visit on Friday.
“The negotiations on the CAP post-2013 are up for decision soon and the EU Budget is under threat. The Irish Government must retain 100% of Ireland’s national envelope from Europe so that the Single Farm Payment and Rural Development measures are maintained.”
Meanwhile, the IFA President has said the support for the Day of Action on October 9<sup>th</sup> has been very positive since it was announced last week. Having spoken to a large number of farmers at the Iverk Show last week-end and at farmer meetings, he said, “There is huge solidarity to fight for the future of CAP funding and the retention of farm schemes, both of which play a vital role in supporting farm production and incomes”.
Mr Bryan said, “Previous cuts to farm schemes have been totally disproportionate, and are now hitting the lowest income sector of agriculture hard. Farmers are sending a message to Minister Coveney that he cannot cut the schemes any further”.<span> He said farm families are already finding it extremely difficult to cope with the extra costs and taxes imposed on them, which are impacting negatively on incomes and competitiveness in the private productive sector.</span>
He said, “The consequences of the disastrous summer and the escalating input costs has put massive pressure on farm incomes, and the Government have failed totally in its promise to farmers to address the dominance of the retail multiples through effective regulation.”
The IFA President said he was heartened by the backing from the wider agri-food industry for strong action to defend the €1.8bn EU funding for CAP and Rural Development programmes. “Those involved in the sector which supports 300,000 jobs recognise fully the importance of primary production.”
The protest in Dublin – Fight for the Future of Farming – will highlight the escalating cost/price squeeze on farm incomes, and send a clear message to the Government on the need to defend the full CAP Budget in Europe and retain national funding for income-related farm schemes.
The IFA President said farming supports 300,000 jobs and €9bn of exports in the economy. “However, the sector will not be able to reach its growth potential if farm incomes are not defended at home and in Brussels, and unless the retailers are challenged. The future of our rural economy depends on a viable farming sector. The Day of Action on October 9<sup>th</sup> is an opportunity for all farm families to take a stand and secure their future.”