The President of ICMSA, John Comer, said that the outline CAP agreement communicated by Minister Coveney this morning did undoubtedly represent progress on the previous more radical models of direct payment redistribution. But Mr Comer also stated that it was impossible to ignore the fact that payments will be diverted from the state’s most active and productive farmers and that this change was demonstrably against the development of the agri-food sector and, therefore, the national interest.
Mr Comer said that the key decisions now had to be made at national state level and first amongst those would be the definition of what is an ‘active farmer’. ICMSA would make its feeling very clear on this subject and the Milk Suppliers Association also repeated its complete rejection of a coupled payment which they said would lead to a further potential 8% cut in direct payments to all the country’s farmers. As he had already undertaken, ICMSA would insist that Minister Coveney deliver the maximum national co-funding permissible for the hugely important Pillar II schemes and he concluded by saying that the critical thing now was that any agreement was built upon by sensible decision-making at national level that supported the most productive farming families in our sector.
Ends 25 June 2013.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office