18th January, 2012
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) president, Gabriel Gilmartin, has today (18th January) warned EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos that his proposed reforms of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) are far too revolutionary and far too disruptive to Irish farming. Mr. Gilmartin insisted that member states must be allowed the flexibility to implement a more acceptable evolution of the CAP.
Mr. Gilmartin said: “While there may be a welcome for a greener, more equitable CAP in theory, ICSA is concerned that, in practice, the Commissioner’s reforms are too revolutionary and will simply be unworkable in Ireland. The moving to a flat rate payment and the introduction of a greening top up has the potential to severely stunt the growth of successful and productive farms in the country.”
Mr. Gilmartin also emphasised that harsh cuts on farms on the overall farm payment was not viable: “We cannot have a fair reform that imposes severe cuts on family-sized farms. Due to spiralling input costs, the average farmer is now more reliant than ever on their single farm payment (SFP) from the EU. Strong factory prices are being counteracted by the rising costs of fuel and other operational costs therefore excessive cuts in the SFP has the potential to drive farm families out of agriculture.”