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ICSA: Minister Coveney must stand up for the productive farmers of Ireland

Jun 21, 2013 | Press Releases | 0 comments

21st June, 2013

With just days to go before crucial EU Farm Council talks on the new CAP, The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association says Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must stand up for the productive farmers of Ireland.

ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin, who will lead an ICSA delegation to Luxembourg as EU farm ministers attempt to hammer out a deal next week, said, “ICSA has led calls for a more targeted CAP, which would benefit the active, productive farmers of Ireland on low or no Single Farm Payments. Minister Coveney, as Chair of the Council, must deliver for Irish farmers and for Irish farming into the future.”

“By this, I mean that cuts to active farmers must be minimised, especially to those who are on modest payments. We are also adamant that a minimum payment per hectare across every hectare in Ireland is not the way to go. What’s needed is a targeted minimum payment per hectare, directed at young and active farmers, particularly those with low or no payments.”

The ICSA leader explained that the organisation is also against any return to coupled payments. “Aside from the fact that it could mean a whole lot of red tape and quota restrictions for farmers, a cut to Pillar 1 payments to fund a premium for sucklers and ewes will mainly benefit the meat processors, and not the farmers.”

“Looking at Pillar 2 Rural Development payments, we must see them being used in the most targeted, efficient way possible, through a robust agri-environment scheme aimed at low-income cattle and sheep systems and through suckler cow and sheep schemes.”

Mr Gilmartin said, “We will continue to put the pressure on over the coming days while the final deal is being worked out in Luxembourg and Brussels. Irish cattle and sheep farmers are our priority and we are determined to see the best possible CAP deal done for them.”

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ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has said it is unacceptable that some 18,600 farmers will have to wait until February 2024 to receive their ACRES payment. “ICSA, along with other farmer representatives, today (6 December) met with senior Department of Agriculture officials in Portlaoise for an update on payments from the various farm schemes. At this meeting we were informed that no participant of the Cooperation Project (CP) stream of ACRES tranche one will be paid until February at the earliest. This news will come as a devasting blow to all those farmers who have been already waiting far too long for their payments,” he said.

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