Coveney wants immediate clarification on how EU proposals will help Irish farmers

The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, has called for immediate clarification on how a €500 million aid package for European farmers will be distributed between Member States.

Speaking after a lengthy Council meeting, the Minister said it is certainly welcome news that the EU Commission is prepared to make half a billion in funding available from the EU budget to support hard-pressed farmers.

“Indeed the Commission announcement addresses most of the points made by Ireland in the six-point plan we presented to the Commission and the Council last week,” he said.

“This includes the use of substantial EU budget funds to provide a 70% rate of advance payment payable under the direct payment schemes, the introduction of APS for cheese and pigmeat, with better conditions for APS for other products and the introduction of additional promotional measures”

“The important issue now is to clarify as soon as possible how these funds are going to be disbursed to Member States. We also need to know complete details of the measures the Commission is envisaging to support the market”.

“I am determined to ensure that these funds are used for measures that provide targeted and fair support for Irish farmers”, concluded Minister Coveney.

The Minister also welcomed the announcement by the Commission that it will re-engage in discussions with the Russian authorities concerning the restrictions imposed on certain pigmeat products.