Budget veto on CAP is rejected by Ciolos
Commissioner hints at special support for grass-based farming
Support for grass-based farming systems such as Ireland's could feature in the revamped CAP, EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos has indicated.
In an exclusive interview with the Farming Independent, Commissioner Ciolos said there were "strong arguments" for supporting production systems based on grass usage.
The commissioner reiterated the need for a well-funded CAP and rejected suggestions that budgetary constraints would determine farm policy into the future.
However, he once again appeared to rule out the possibility of the Single Farm Payment (SFP) being based on historical reference years.
Referring to Ireland's grass-based farm management systems, Commissioner Ciolos said it merited support from an environmental and sustainability perspective.
"I believe that farmers should be rewarded for the public goods and benefits they provide, which are not rewarded by the market," he said.
"And in that sense I can see there are strong arguments to support grass-based systems as far as they offer a lot of environmental benefits in terms of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources," he added.
On the issue of CAP funding post-2013, Commissioner Ciolos pointed out that no detailed discussion on the new EU budget had yet taken place at Commission level.