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.”