18th June, 2012
ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin says that the Santos report on the CAP reform proposals identifies the key problem – but fails to recognise the severity of it. As a consequence, its proposal to limit the losses by 30% for farmers whose current entitlements are above the flat rate average of €270 does not go far enough.
“We need to ensure that at the very most, farmers would be no more than 10% worse off if the Ciolos proposals are to be implemented. We have continuously stated that a flat rate payment cannot be implemented in the 2014-2019 period. We accept that some changes are inevitable and we need to look at giving more to deserving, active farmers with the lowest payments. However, we must ensure that we do not devastate the productive farmers who established payments in 2000-2002 and who continue to contribute to the export-oriented agri-food sector.”
Mr Gilmartin is in Brussels tomorrow morning (Tuesday 19th June) to observe the EU parliament agriculture committee debate on the Santos report. He said that ICSA will be carefully monitoring the reaction to the amendments proposed by Santos. “The EU parliament now has a co-decision role on CAP reform and therefore, the Santos report which will play a central role in the EU parliament position on the Ciolos proposals is very important. It is still possible that Ireland can influence this and ICSA is determined that we have to fight hard to ensure our current decoupled system is defended to the greatest extent possible.”