The appointment of Phil Hogan as EU Trade Commissioner comes “at a critical time for the farming and food sectors here”, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) president Joe Healy.

Commenting on the appointment of the former EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development to his new role as EU Trade Commissioner, Healy said: “It is vital that we have a strong voice at the EU Commission table, particularly with the Brexit threat looming.

Through the IFA’s Brussels office, we will work with Commissioner Hogan and his officials to safeguard Irish farmers from the threat that a ‘crash out’ at the end of October would pose.

“We expect Commissioner Hogan to carry the experience and contacts from his first term of office to his new role.”

The IFA president said: “As a senior member of the EU Commission, Phil Hogan has the opportunity to put a firm footprint on commission policy.”

Healy said he also looked forward to meeting the new EU Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski to articulate IFA’s policy on the next CAP.

Concluding, Healy said: “The next CAP will be very important for Irish agriculture. We have to deliver a framework that supports the income of farm families and the development of agriculture for the rural economy.”