EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski has said it is crucial to hear the views of Irish farmers before the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan is being signed off.

In a meeting with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, the commissioner will discuss Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan which is being analysed by the European Commission.

The commissioner will visit Ireland tomorrow (Monday, May 30), to attend the World Potato Congress (WPC), while also addressing issues including animal welfare and sustainability during his visit.

Speaking ahead of his trip, the commissioner told EU News Radio he wants to reassure Irish farmers that the EU does not want to reduce animal farming in the bloc. 

Ireland, as a significant producer of dairy and beef, is also a very important contributor to food security in Europe and at a global level, according to Commissioner Wojciechowski.

He added that it is important to support these sectors to maintain the strong position of Ireland.

While the commission aims to reduce emissions in agriculture, as well as in all sectors, it wants to achieve this through financial incentives for farmers to take on better practices including carbon farming, he said.

Commissioner Wojciechowski will also talk to leaders of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) before visiting an organic vegetable farm in Dublin and a traditional family livestock farm in Dunshaughlin.

The development of organic farming in Ireland will also be a priority for the commissioner during his visit, according to EU News Radio.