Friday, October 1, 2010

EU Agriculture Commissioner To Meet With IFA

IFA President John Bryan will later today welcome the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos to a special meeting of the IFA Executive Council to discuss the proposed reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Mr Bryan is expected to highlight the case of Irish farm families to retain a strong CAP post-2013.

Mr Bryan said, “My message to the Commissioner will be very clear. The EU CAP budget must be maintained. Ireland’s national envelope must be fully protected. There can be no reduction in direct payments to active and productive farmers.”

He said he will tell the Commissioner that the existing CAP model has successfully maintained Ireland’s productive base and preserved the farm family structure in every rural parish across the country.
“The CAP underpins the sustainable production of high quality food with guarantees on food traceability and safety, and the highest animal welfare standards. It also rewards farmers for the provision of non-market environmental public goods, including biodiversity and water quality.”

“Consumers can be assured of secure, safe, traceable food which meets the highest environment and animal welfare standards. The household spend is now less than 13%, compared to 30% 30 years ago.”

The IFA President said he was pleased that Commissioner Ciolos took the time to see firsthand the unique structure of family farming in Ireland. He said the wider rural economy would collapse but for the existence of productive farms with strong CAP funding. “EU payments are redistributed by our farmers through spending on labour, goods and inputs. The environment is enhanced and our food exports are generated from a carbon-friendly, grass-based production system.”

The IFA President said the existing national envelope for Ireland must be fully safeguarded.  “With the potential of the agri-food sector now recognised as a key part of the country’s return to growth, providing certainty for farmers willing to undertake investment is critical. A strong CAP post-2013 must underpin our sustainable family farming model of production.”

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