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Ferris to present major report on farming and fishing in the West to Oireachtas Committee

11 March, 2009 - by Martin Ferris TD

For immediate release 11th March 2009:

Sinn  Féin TD Martin Ferris will today present a report on the future of farming  and  fishing in the West of Ireland to the Oireachtas All Party Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Deputy Ferris has compiled the report having travelled the length of the west coast from West Cork to Donegal meeting and consulting with farming and fishing organisations.

Today  he  will  propose that the report be adopted by the Committee and sent   to   Government  with  a  call  for  its  recommendations  to  be implemented.

The key recommendations of the report include:

1.  Defend  SFP  as  ‘green  box’  payment protected from any attempt to undermine it through WTO 2. Reject any WTO deal that undermines EU food sector 3. Abolition of modulation for lower SFP payments 4.  Abolition  of  SFP  for  large  businesses  not directly involved in farming 5. Emphasise the importance of food security in EU agricultural policy 6. Full payment of SFP each October 7. Provision of at least one weeks notice prior to all farm inspections 8. Retention of milk quota 9. Regional ring fencing of quota 10. Introduction of Family Farm status based on REPS participation 11. Incorporate water preservation measures into REPS 12. Consultation with farmers prior to designation of farms as SACs 13. Promotion of traditional cattle and sheep breeds 14. Increase to 45 hectares for Energy Crop grant for REPS participants 15. Oppose introduction of electronic sheep tagging 16. Increase national energy crop grant to €125 per hectare 17. Introduce an Environmental Services Grant 18. Promote community based wind energy projects 19. Maintain ban on Brazilian meat imports 20. Full country of origin labelling for all beef and lamb products 21. Encourage provision of local food outlets 22. Lower of grant qualification limits for small and organic producers 23. Expansion of Rural Social Scheme 24. Inclusion of farmers in scheme to allow pensioners work scheme 25. Greater emphasis on LEADER projects as source of employment 26. Reopening of Installation and Early Retirement Schemes 27. Revoke cuts to Suckler Welfare Scheme 28. Revoke cuts to Disadvantaged Area payments 29. Renegotiation of the Common Fisheries Policy 30. Introduction of Administrative sanctions for fisheries offences 31. Country of origin labelling for all fish products 32. Rejection of closure of north west cod fishery 33. Rejection of other proposed cuts in quota 34. Measures to address the issue of fish discard 35. Increase in quota in proportion to share of fishing waters 36. Consultation with fishing sector on scientific survey

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