Next CAP review ‘already taking place in Brussels’

Informal discussions on the priorities for the next review of the CAP are already taking place in Brussels, according to MEP Mairead McGuinness.

It’s still too early to gauge how these will progress but it’s unlikely that further greening measures will feature prominently in the discussions, she said.

“There is no appetite within the Commission to push this agenda and, seemingly, this view is being echoed by the general public at large.”

McGuinness went on to point out that EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan is likely to come forward with a series of proposals which address the perceived imbalance in the share out of monies along the entire agri food chain.

“And this may well happen over the coming months,” she said.”

This is all about shedding light on unfair trading practises and getting to the heart of the matter in terms of how the money coming in at the retail end is shared out between retailers, food processers and primary producers.

“These are issues which members of the European Parliament have a direct interest in.

McGuinness gave no credence to suggestions that Europe is seeking to replace direct payments to farmers with cheaper finance options from the European Investment Bank (EIB)

“EIB is geared up to work with large corporate entities, not individual farmers,” she said.

“So, on that basis alone, the idea of EIB monies being used to replace the single payment, even in the long term, is a total non-runner.

McGuinness confirmed that the European Parliament will be discussing possible changes to the EU’s fertiliser regulations over the coming weeks. She was unsure if the outcome of this process would impact on fertiliser practises in Ireland.

“In the first instance our focus will be on the classification and use of certain organic manures,” she said.