The Department of Agriculture and the main farming organisations have concluded months of negotiations on a new Farmers Charter.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney has welcomed the agreement on the Charter and thanked both sides for their positive engagement over the last number of months.

The Charter is effectively an agreement between both parties on improving the standards and delivery targets for the Department’s schemes and services, including on-farm inspections, and brings clarity to the arrangements around inspections.

Minister Coveney has said that the document sets out in very clear language, the timelines, application, payment and appeals processes and is a very useful reference for farmer.

The new Charter which will come into immediate effect and will now be published. It will remain in place until 2020 coinciding with the lifetime of the current Pillar I and Pillar II schemes.

A Charter Monitoring Committee will be established under an independent chairman to monitor agreed targets and standards. This Committee will be composed of representatives of the farm organisations and staff of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Negotiations on the Farmers’ Charter was somewhat delayed due to the complex nature of the introduction of the new Basic Payment Scheme.