Monday 19 February 2018

John Bryan: Coveney must get a CAP reform deal that works for Irish farmers

MINISTERS for Agriculture will meet in Brussels today and tomorrow in an attempt to hammer out a deal on the next Common Agricultural Policy. At stake for Ireland is a farm payment model that ensures the viability of active farmers and underpins primary production, which is the bedrock of our largest indigenous industry, maintaining 300,000 jobs and exports of €9bn.

As the proposals stand, 80,000 of our most productive farmers will lose anything from 10pc to 50pc of their Single Farm Payment (SFP). The reality is that on tens of thousands of these farms, the SFP represents 100pc of income, especially on drystock farms. In difficult years, such as 2012 with the wet summer, and the price collapse in 2009, the dairy and tillage sectors would have been devastated but for the SFP.

IFA's position is clear: the Single Farm Payment is there to support production and active farmers. Any adjustments in these CAP supports must be minimised and done over the longest timeframe so the livelihoods of farming families affected are not undermined.

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