IFA President John Bryan has today (Fri) met the EU Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos in Brussels, where he re-iterated the strong case for flexibilities to address Irish concerns regarding CAP reform.
Yesterday, the Association’s National Officers and the main commodity Chairmen held meetings with senior Commission officials, at which they said a fully-funded CAP Budget must be in place from 2014-2020. They met the Agriculture Commissioner Ciolos’ Chef de Cabinet and officials from DG Agri and insisted that funding for both the Single Farm Payment and the Rural Development programme have to be maintained.
John Bryan urged the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to use the meeting planned for before Christmas, to engage with Commissioner Ciolos to advance the Irish case. “The Commissioner’s proposals would decimate the productive farm family structure. Regionalisation is not a solution, and IFA has rejected this outright.”
Mr Bryan said, “The Common Agriculture Policy is a critical support for Irish farming, underpinning farm incomes and production. For consumers, it provides a guarantee of a secure supply of quality, sustainable food produced to the highest animal welfare, food safety and environmental standards”.
“Farm income figures are estimated to drop by 22% in 2012, which clearly shows the critical importance of Direct Payments in underpinning farm incomes. The reality is that Direct Payments from Europe will account for more than 90% of farm incomes this year. In order to preserve the family farm model, it is essential that our Single Farm Payment and Rural Development are maintained.”