Commission insists CAP 'greening' will not restrict output
The European Commission has rejected suggestions that "greening" of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2013 would result in a reduction in agricultural output.
A spokesman for the commission has insisted that while farmers would have to wait to hear final proposals in October, it was not the commission's intention to cut agricultural output. He was responding to comments by IFA president John Bryan made at a meeting of COPA in Brussels.
Mr Bryan said compulsory greening measures should not add further environmental restrictions over and above those already in place, and that farmers required simplification of the regulations and not additional bureaucracy or compliance costs.
"In the context of the Food Harvest 2020 growth plans for the country, it would be important that these new greening measures do not restrict the potential of Irish farmers to sustainably grow food production," Mr Bryan said.
IBEC's dairy policy adviser Michael Barry echoed this view when he called for the EU to rewrite its climate change laws.
"With the Irish agricultural sector already accounting for over a third of all our greenhouse gas emissions, it will never hit the 2020 targets if at the same time the EU is looking for a 20pc decrease in emissions," Mr Barry said.
"China and the US are also signed up to the UN convention on climate change, but they are avoiding imposing limits on their farmers by offsetting emissions against forestry and using improved technology."