IFA welcomes EU decision to drop soil directive plans
The decision of the EU Commission to drop plans for a soil directive has been welcomed by the IFA and Copa-Cogeca.
The proposal for a soil directive had been opposed by member states for years and had been blocked by the Council of Ministers.
IFA environment and rural committee chairman Harold Kingston described it as the right decision.
"IFA strongly resisted this proposed directive since it was first tabled in 2006. The association lobbied MEPs, met with Commission officials in Brussels and the Department of Agriculture to ensure that a successful outcome was delivered," Mr Kingston said.
"The Soils Directive was doomed from the beginning because it ignored the existing extensive soil management obligations that farmers must adhere to under the compliance regime and other legislation, such as the nitrates regulations."
Copa-Cogeca welcomed the EU Commission's decision, stressing it would have resulted in far more costs than benefits.
Copa-Cogeca secretary general Pekka Pesonen said the proposed directive would not have necessarily improved soil protection and its only consequence would have been more bureaucracy for farmers.