Farmer payments from the EU are not being distributed in as fair a way as possible, according to independent TD and European Parliament candidate Mick Wallace.

Speaking at a question and answer conference of fellow candidates – which was organised by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) – Wallace claimed: “There’s a lot of people getting money who don’t need it, and a lot of farmers who need more help that aren’t getting it.

“I actual think that farming is in trouble. I don’t think the way the Government or European Parliament operates is favourable to farmers. The money that comes from Europe can be distributed in a fairer way,” argued Wallace.

According to Wallace, the decisions that affect farmers are not being made with farmer interests in mind.

“I would argue that most of the decisions being made are being dictated by big businesses and corporations, who don’t really have much concern for farmers in Ireland. This has to be changed or we’re going down a cul-de-sac,” claimed the Wexford TD.

However, Wallace claimed that farmers had to “change direction”.

“We have wonderful land, with wonderful potential. We need to produce cleaner food and get a higher price for it. The alternative is a race to the bottom,” he said.

Wallace said that he was “just as passionate about farming as anyone else”, and said that he would “try to be straight” if he got elected.

Addressing the gathered crowd of IFA members, he warned that farmers who cannot support themselves would face difficulties with their banks.

“You’ll have banks pushing loans on you, because their happy with the asset your holding, and they’ll take it off you if you run into problems,” argued Wallace.