Ó Cuív welcomes progress in CAP

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has this afternoon congratulated EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos for helping to achieve a fairer CAP for Irish famers and ensuring the family farm is protected in Ireland.

It was announced today that a deal on minimum payment in relation to CAP has been reached at EU level.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “Ensuring a minimum rate of payment to all active farmers will result in a much fairer distribution of money than in previous CAP deals. Figures on relative productivity show that farmers in receipt of payments of €350 per hectare will, on average, have the same output per hectare and are approximately twice as productive as farmers on less than €280 per hectare.

“The present arrangement will be a much better reflection of the productivity levels compared to the previous deal. There is a need to protect the medium sized intensive farmers and for this reason the option of ‘front-loading’ or ‘ the first hectares’ would appear now to be particularly attractive. Under this arrangement a top-up payment of approximately €127 per hectare is paid on the first 32 hectares (80 acres). This benefits all farmers with less than 50 hectares (120 acres).

Approximately 80 per cent of Irish farmers have less than 50 hectares and to ensure profitable farming, direct payments and subsidies are only part of the solution, he noted.

“Of fundamental importance to Irish farmers is the whole issue of price and it is absolutely vital that this issue is tackled on both a national level and in the EU.

“The overwhelming power of the multiples when it comes to the price of liquid milk or meat has to be curbed to ensure a long term fair return to the primary producer. I was pleased on recent visits to Europe when I raised this issue with Commission officials, they informed me in response that if voluntary codes did not work that it is their intention to legislate to ensure better prices for farmers.”

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