‘Delivering a strong CAP is a key European priority’ – Doyle

The delivery of a strong Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) budget for Irish farmers is key the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Fine Gael European Parliament candidate Andrew Doyle has told farmers.

The minister of state was speaking during a party discussion for CAP post-2020 in Portlaoise this morning, Monday, May 20, 2019 alongside Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed where they both highlighted Fine Gael’s priorities for the CAP post 2020.

“A strong CAP budget will be really important for Irish farmers in the coming years as we tackle issues like climate change and Brexit,” he added.

Experience in dealing with the CAP at both a national and EU level will be crucially important over the coming months so that we can deliver a good deal for Irish farmers.

“I will draw on my experience at an EU level, as a minister with responsibility in this area, and as a farmer who understands the practicalities of the CAP to ensure Ireland has the best possible team fighting for CAP for Irish farmers.”

The minister then highlighted his “commitment to prioritising a reform of the CAP which would support active and productive farmers”.

‘Justification and rewards’

Doyle said that it was very hard in 2019 to justify a payment model that is based on a reference year that’s almost twenty years old.

His priority as an MEP, those in attendance at the meeting heard, would be to focus on the continued modernisation of the CAP in a way that rewards active, genuine farmers.

Moving immediately to a flat rate payments system is something I am very wary of; we need to ensure we are not inadvertently placing efficient, productive farmers at a disadvantage.

The minister continued: “The next CAP will place even greater emphasis on the environment and farmers need adequate support to deliver on this ambition.

“A really significant priority for me is the environment. The consumer is demanding a greener CAP and it is in the best interests of farmers to deliver it. Greater profitability and stronger environmental credentials go hand in hand.

If farmers are being asked to do more, they need to be supported with a strong CAP budget and this is my priority.

“I want to see the CAP provide more supports for young farmers. Generational renewal in family farming is a big issue.

“There also has to be fairness at every stage of the supply chain so that farming is sustainable for the next generation of farmers,” he concluded.