IFA warns against 'disastrous' shift in SFP calculation method
SHARP differences on how single farm payment (SFP) entitlements should be calculated for individual farmers emerged at a major conference last Friday on the future of CAP.
IFA members and farmers from other organisations clashed on the issue, with a vocal contingent from the National Milk Rights Group insisting that the current 'historic' system was not equitable.
The Thurles conference was organised by Ireland South MEP Alan Kelly and took as its theme 'Crisis or opportunity -- rural Ireland and the future of the Common Agricultural Policy'.
IFA president John Bryan maintained that any move from the historic method of calculating the Single Farm Payment would be "disastrous".
He said the SFP had to target active farmers and he warned that any move away from this policy would undermine overall production from the farm sector.
However, representatives from National Milk Rights Group said the current system favoured large units but had failed to protect smaller family farms.
John Comer, of the ICMSA, said holding Ireland's CAP subvention at its current level had to be the primary national objective.
"Every penny coming in from CAP has to be protected," Mr Comer insisted.