ICMSA’s McCormack warns Minister McConalogue against “sacrifice” of farming in Climate Action Bill
Speaking following a meeting with the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine, ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, has repeated farmer fears that hugely important elements of their sector could be sacrificed as part of the current Climate Action Bill. Mr. McCormack told Minister McConalogue that farmers were perfectly prepared to play their part in meeting the challenge but it was supremely important that the farming and food sector’s commercial capacity was retained and developed and the Climate Action Bill had to recognise and proceed from that point. It was not feasible to consider a plan that did not recognise the unique position of farming in Ireland, particularly, livestock farming. Mr. McCormack said that ICMSA had again made clear the importance of the proposed Glanbia Belview cheese plant proceeding as a matter of priority.
ICMSA also highlighted its real concerns in relation to the convergence model proposed for CAP post 2020. Mr. McCormack said the model is hopelessly skewed against people actually farming, many of whom have low overall payments. Mr. McCormack asked the Minister to introduce and implement a genuine farmer definition in the next round of CAP that ensures that people actively farming the land receive entitlements, while those who are not, do not. In addition, the structure of Pillar II payments will have to reflect the losses suffered by farmers since convergence began and the clear focus must be payments to genuine farmers and not those simply holding land.
Finally, Mr. McCormack said, that there is deep concern amongst farmers in relation to the implementation of the new Veterinary Medicine Regulations and ICMSA told the Minister that these regulations will simply have to be implemented in a way that recognises the professionalism of farmers and critically, reflects the day-to-day management of farm animals.
Ends 19 May 2021
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