IFA at loggerheads with Minister
As the CAP reform reaches its crucial final stages this week, a major disagreement has broken out between the Minister for Agriculture and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), which represents more than 80,000 farmers across Ireland.
In essence, the IFA is resisting attempts to spread the single farm payment per hectare more evenly across the country. It states matter-of-factly that this does not make sense to take money from intensive active farmers who have made big investments in their business, and give more money to less active and less intensive producers.
At last week’s IFA CAP briefing, where leading agri-business ceos from Dawn Meats, Acorn Group, Liffey Mills and Meat Industry Ireland were in agreement, President John Byran said: “The group assembled here today have a clear, unified message: The next CAP must underpin productive agriculture to allow the sector meet its expansion targets.
“As it stands, many farmers are facing significant cuts. The minister’s primary focus must be on defending Irish farmers and refusing to accept a deal that could disrupt productive agriculture even more.”
A colourful protest involving thousands of farmers is taking place this morning outside the Department of Agriculture and Dail Eireann. The minister himself is in Luxembourg at the final CAP reform negotiations.
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Our AgriLand TV crew will be reporting from the protest this morning.