INHFA receives further recognition

This evening (Thursday, June 7) the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) received further recognition for its work on the behalf of its members.

At the farm organisation’s annual general meeting (AGM) in the Sligo Southern Hotel, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, extended an invitation to the INHFA to participate in a number of committees.

Addressing those gathered at the AGM, Minister Creed said: “I am pleased to extend an invitation to the INHFA to participate now in the Farmers Charter Monitoring Committee, in the Rural Development Monitoring Committee and in the Direct Payments Advisory Committee.

Because I think together we are stronger and we need to have all of those voices; I very much respect the voice that this sector brings to the agricultural debate.

He highlighted that the most challenging issue facing the agriculture sector at the moment is the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Continuing, the minister explained: “There is no shortage of ambition in terms of what the next round of the CAP should deliver. We can have all of the ambition that we want; but if we do not have an adequate budget for the CAP, then a lot of that ambition will be for naught.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed attended the INHFA AGM in the Sligo Southern Hotel this evening (June 7)

“This is a really significant challenge that faces us. All of the voices in Irish agriculture – in the context of what the shape of that policy should look like – need to engage now.

“I will be holding – on July 4 in the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge – a broad consultation of all stakeholders and all farming organisations so that we can, in that spirit of collaboration and cooperation, try and devise the shape of what the CAP should look like post-2020.”

Minister Creed also welcomed the INHFA – which was first established in January 2015 to represent farmers on marginalised, hill and designated land – to participate in this consultation.

‘An equal footing’

Welcoming the minister’s announcement, the national president of the INHFA, Colm O’Donnell, stated that the move now places the INHFA “on an equal footing with other national farming organisations”.

He added that he hopes that this will be the start of the organisation becoming an equal partner on all monitoring committees that it requests to be a part of.

On developing a CAP strategic plan, O’Donnell told the minister: “You will find that the INHFA will have a willingness to work with you and all of the other stakeholders involved in getting it right.”