A new pressure group of farmers – representing producers from across Northern Ireland – has been established to highlight what they regard as the need for a fair and equitable CAP agreement. As part of their campaign, they will be hosting a Single Farm Payment Crisis Meeting at CAFRE Greenmount, near Antrim, on Monday April 7, starting time 8.00pm.

The spokesman for the grouping is noted suckler beef producer Sam Chesney, from Kircubbin in Co Down. He is a former UK Beef Farmer of the Year and Ulster Grassland Society Farmer of the Year.

“We want to see a two region CAP settlement for Northern Ireland with the caveat that a headage payment is made available on all suckler and dairy cows in the SDA,” Sam confirmed.

“This is the most equitable settlement that can be arrived at, guaranteeing fairness to every farmer in Northern Ireland. I will be making this point at the meeting in my capacity as Chairman.”

Other speakers at the event will include DARD’s Head of Policy Division Norman Fulton and National Beef Association CEO  Chris Mallon.

Sam Chesney concluded: “The meeting will allow the speakers analyse the various CAP options that may be implemented across the UK as a whole. This is an Open Meeting and all farmers will be made more than welcome on the night.”

The North’s Farm Minister Michelle O’Neill has confirmed that she – and her Department – favour the establishment of a single CAP region for Northern Ireland. However, it is widely expected that she will take this matter to the full Executive at Stormont before going public with her final decision on the issue.”