IFA President John Bryan has welcomed the commitments given by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Labour Party in their manifestos to defend Ireland’s CAP funding through the Single Farm Payment.
Mr Bryan said, “the three main parties recognise the importance of a strong CAP post-2013 if the agri-food sector is to realise the potential identified in the Food Harvest 2020 Strategy.
Commenting following the launch yesterday of the Fine Gael and the Labour party’s agricultural manifestos, the IFA leader said “in Fine Gael’s case, the party ‘will prioritise the Single Farm Payment which benefits active farmers’, and Labour ‘will work to retain our €1.3 billion CAP funding envelope. Our negotiating position at EU level is predicated on retaining this envelope’.”
He said, “Fine Gael has also recognised that farm schemes are a significant part of farm income and it is critical that any new Government must keep the AEOS open for those farmers leaving REPS 3.
Mr Bryan welcomed the focus that Fine Gael is putting on reducing costs and their pledge to exempt farm diesel from further increases in the carbon tax, which would damage the sector’s competiveness.
The IFA President also welcomed the commitment from both parties to introduce legislation to ensure equity in the food supply chain. “It is vital that there is statutory backing for regulation of the retail sector, and enforcement to guarantee a fair price for the primary producer that pays a margin.”
Concluding, Mr Bryan said, “Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Labour Party are keenly aware of the contribution that farming and food can play in our economic recovery by driving growth in exports and jobs. The next Government must pursue policies that allow the sector to deliver on its potential and improve the incomes of farm families.”