IFA President John Bryan said the debate on the CAP Reform must be about the viability of active farmers and support for primary production, which is the bedrock of our largest indigenous industry, maintaining 300,000 jobs and exports of €9bn.
Speaking as farmers protested outside Dublin Castle today (Mon) to coincide with the visit of EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, John Bryan said IFA would continue to highlight the damaging effects of his CAP reform proposals on productive agriculture in Ireland.
Mr Bryan said active, productive farmers in every parish, and of every size and enterprise, will lose 20% or more of their income if these proposals go through. With incomes on most farms already at a low level, this robbing Peter-to-pay-Paul, flat-earth policy, will render thousands of our most productive farmers unviable. “As the CAP proposals stand, a large proportion of what is taken from productive farmers will be redistributed to inactive farmers, who don’t depend on farming for a living. Worse still, the more flattening that occurs, the more damage will be done to our ambitions around <i>Food Harvest 2020.”
John Bryan said that the Commissioner’s reform proposals of flattening SFP payments and regionalisation are seriously flawed, and will do massive damage to agricultural output and the viability of tens of thousands of our most active and productive farmers in every parish in Ireland.
In a clear warning to Mr. Ciolos’ ambitions to secure an EU CAP deal during the Irish Presidency, he said that Irish farmers would not let Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, who is President of the EU Council, sell out productive agriculture.
He said the Commission must provide Ireland with the flexibilities to address the most damaging aspects of his deeply flawed and misguided reform proposals. In a scheduled meeting with the Commissioner later today, Mr Bryan will remind Commissioner Ciolos what a former and highly respected EU Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler said about his reforms and their impact on Ireland at a major conference in Brussels last week. Mr Fischler said ‘The Irish difficulties are the most serious of any country, particularly on the beef side’.