IFA facing revolt as members lead mutiny over CAP stance
The IFA is facing a serious revolt in the northwest over its stance on CAP reform and distribution of single farm payments (SFP).
The dissenting voices among its membership were ratcheted up today with the publication of a highly critical letter signed by 23 prominent IFA members.
It calls for an end to the organisation's "continued insistence on minimising any redistribution of the SFP".
Ireland West MEP Marian Harkin has also accused the IFA of totally misrepresented her stance on the reforms of CAP payments, branding it an attempt to deflect the attention of farmers from the fact that there was a need "to focus on Pillar I".
The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, also questioned the IFA's inclusion of 5pc reductions to create young farmer and national reserves in their analysis of the redistribution of the SFP.
At a press conference with the EU's Agriculture Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, in Dublin yesterday, the minister told journalists that farm organisations could not "have it both ways".
"You can't say you are in favour of giving extra help to young farmers and those with exceptional cases and then turn around and criticise the fact that this money is coming out of existing payments to farmers," said Minister Coveney.
In relation to how many hectares should qualify for the front-loaded payment option being discussed at the moment, Commissioner Ciolos said that he believed that this would probably only work if there was flexibility for different amounts in different countries.