IFA delegation meets with MEP to discuss CAP concerns

Concerns surrounding the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) were the main focus of a meeting between a delegation from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and MEP Matt Carthy.

Taking place late last week, the meeting was organised by the IFA’s regional chair for Ulster and North Leinster, Nigel Renaghan.

The importance of securing a sufficient CAP budget post-2020 was highlighted by the delegation when it met with the Sinn Fein MEP for the Midlands-North West constituency.

Stressing the importance of the CAP budget, Reneghan said: “Even if the CAP budget is maintained at its current level, it will represent a 17% cut – because it doesn’t take inflation into account.

We have to ensure that a sufficient budget is secured for the CAP, especially given how significant CAP payments are to farmers’ incomes.

Reneghan was joined by a number of other IFA representatives, including: Padraic Joyce, Connacht regional chair; Frank Brady, Monaghan chair; Elizabeth Ormiston, Cavan chair; Kenneth Bray, Westmeath chair; and Sean Conefrey, Longford chair.

Donegal chair Michael Chance, Louth chair Gerard Melia and Meath chair John Curran were unable to attend the meeting due to other commitments.

Speaking to AgriLand, Monaghan IFA chair Frank Brady said: “The CAP was introduced to ensure that consumers had access to affordable, safe, high-quality food.

The CAP has been one of the most effective policies ever introduced and it should be protected going forward.

While the IFA acknowledges that the CAP budget has come under pressure given the increasing prevalence of other issues at European level – such as migration and defence – it argues that new priorities should be funded by new money.