Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Colrevay has welcomed the visit to the Agriculture committee by EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Ciolos.
Speaking today after the visit Deputy Colreavy said:
“I welcome the visit this morning by Commissioner Ciolos particularly during this crucial time for CAP negotiations.
“Sinn Féin appreciates the key role of the EU in supporting food security, food quality, environmental sustainability and vitality of rural areas.
“The commissioner must ensure that the overall CAP budget is maintained as any reduction would have serious consequences for agriculture and food prospects both in Ireland and through-out Europe.
“The commissioner should bear in mind that whilst agriculture is indeed progressing well in Ireland the average wage for farmers is still well under the average industrial wage and in the more disadvantaged parts of Ireland the average farm income is less than half the average industrial wage.
“The rules and procedures associated with CAP should be streamlined and simplified, something that has often been promised but has yet to be delivered.
“I would like the Commissioner to take on board specific points in relation to the transition period to flat rate payments; the greening proposals; the definition of active farmers and use of 2014 as a reference year will have to be reviewed. The reference year of 2014 could, in practice, work directly against the intended objective of that clause.
“Sinn Féin will support all efforts to achieve the targets set out in Harvest 2020 and will continue to insist that the interests, particularly of smaller farmers in marginal areas are protected.” ENDS