The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has welcomed today’s (Wednesday, October 20) announcement by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue regarding increased funding under the Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan (CSP).

ICMSA president, Pat McCormack, said that the increase in the funding allocation is “welcome, and there was a sense that an effort had been made on the funding side”. 

However, the farm organisation president added:

“The problem is the very distinct bias against the commercial family farm; the very sector that was the basis for everything else in economic, social, demographic and environmental terms.” 

Commercial farms marginalised – ICMSA

McCormack said that commercial family farms are being “actively marginalised and removed from core considerations to the periphery of policy”.

He said that this was an enormous mistake that could not be rectified even by the increase in allocation.

“A CAP Strategic Plan that does not recognise the reality of commercial family farming,” he said.

“[It] pretends that the whole sector can be turned in a specific direction without recognising that element just cannot work, plain and simple. Nor does it deserve to.”

Announcement of funding for schemes

One of the elements included in the strategic plans is an allocation of €260 million for a new suckler carbon efficiency programme, which will replace and build on the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP).

A further €25 million is allocated to a new dairy-beef welfare programme and €100 million for a new sheep improvement scheme.

McCormack questioned the decision not to ‘live stream’ the press event from government buildings today.

“We’ve no idea why this was confined to media and on a pre-register basis. We would have thought the people most entitled to get the news directly were the people most directly affected i.e. the farm families themselves,” McCormack concluded.