An open letter to the IFA national executive on single farm payment
It is with regret that we feel compelled to write this open letter on the need for a fairer distribution of the single farm payment (SFP). This requirement to go public comes as a result of the IFA's continued insistence on minimising any redistribution of the SFP.
In doing so, they have portrayed the image of a united farming organisation, fighting the cause of farmers.
This is not the case. Many farmers inside the organisation have become totally disillusioned with where the national executive is going on this.
By writing this letter we hope that it will give courage to the majority of other farmers, to come out and call the stance taken by the IFA national executive for what it is – a very bad deal for the majority of Irish farmers.
The mantra that we have heard over the last few months is that Pillar 1 is about supporting active and productive farmers. This we agree with, but these farmers need to be active and productive now, not 10 years ago.
Indeed, when one looks at the document the IFA executive put to defend their position it is very obvious how desperate they have become. The farmer they always refer to is the 30 suckler cow farmer. They claim that he would see his payments drop from over €16,500 to €12,011 under the latest proposals.
However, when you consider the premium paid on suckler cows during the reference years of 2000 to 2002, the most this man could expect to get in premium was €10,000. Yet under these proposals that the IFA executive is so against, he will get €12,000.
This is also true on the examples given on the dairy farms, and what about the other 30 suckler cow farmer with a payment of €3,900 who would see his payment rise to €5,880?