Commission called on to ‘address contradictions’ in Green Deal and CAP

The European Commission has been called on to “address contradictions” in the Green Deal and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Brendan Golden, the national livestock chairperson of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), was speaking yesterday (Tuesday, December 2) at the first trans-national BovINE meeting for the European beef industry, organised by the Polish government.

“Under the Green Deal, the EU is driving up costs and wants organic production standards at conventional prices, while at the same time under the Mercosur trade deal, the commission is importing beef that fails to meet EU standards and would be illegal to produce in the EU,” Golden told the meeting.

The meeting – entitled ‘Sustainable Beef Farming: Policy and Practice’ was addressed by the Polish minister for agriculture; other representatives from the Polish beef sector; as well as a representative of COPA-COGECA, the European farm organisation umbrella group.

Golden argued that the European Green Deal is “very ambitious and will have a major impact on farming”.

“It’s a ‘top-down’ driven plan from the commission and needs detailed assessment based on facts and solid science,” he remarked.

The IFA national livestock chairperson told the BovINE meeting that the family farm model and economic sustainability “need to be placed at the top of the Green Deal agenda by both politicians and policy makers”.

The commission must learn the hard lessons from Covid-19 and recognise the importance of health, food security and food sovereignty for Europe.

He continued: “Never was it more important in the history of the EU to have a strong CAP Budget which underpins…a sustainable and resilient food supply chain based on family farms.”

On CAP, Golden argued that the ball is in the Irish government’s court, saying: “Important issues include targeted payment for vulnerable sectors like suckler cows and a payment for carbon sequestration additional to the CAP budget.”