Negotiations on new Farmers’ Charter at an advanced stage – Minister

Negotiations on the new Farmers’ Charter are at an advanced stage, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

However, the Minister also said that there are some areas that require further discussion.

“My Department is seeking to achieve agreement with representatives of the main farming organisations on these remaining areas.

“As you will be aware, a round of CAP Information meetings took place recently throughout the country. These important meetings required the involvement of key officials from my Department,” he said.

As a result, he said progress in negotiations on the Farmers’ Charter was somewhat delayed.

The Farmers’ Charter Review Group is chaired by an Assistant Secretary General from the Department and comprised of senior Department officials and representatives of the main farming organisations.

The aim of the Review Group is to agree standards and delivery targets for the schemes and services provided by the Department to all its clients including farmers. These standards and targets form the basis of the Farmers Charter.

Upon finalisation of the new Farmers’ Charter, a Charter Monitoring Committee will be established under an independent chair to monitor agreed targets and commitments.

Minister needs to do his job

IFA President Eddie Downey also recently said that the new charter of rights is almost complete.

“If the Minister would just get up and do the job and sign off on it.” he said.

IFA President Eddie Downey

According to Downey, once the new Charter is in place the Minister is responsible for it and the Department must adhere to that charter of rights.

“Legal status or no legal status that is where it is,” Downey said.