Ferris: CAP reform must protect family farming
Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s launch of a report on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, the Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD stressed the need for the interests of family farming to be protected. The Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, of which Deputy Ferris is a member, is making a series of detailed recommendations on the proposed reform.
Deputy Ferris said: “While Commissioner Ciolos has stated that the forthcoming reform will retain a ‘safety net’ to safeguard against market failure and that there will be no threat to the current payment system, Irish farmers can also not continue simply to survive under the current system.
“Even with the introduction of the Single Farm Payment farm incomes have continued to fall, by 30% last year alone. It is clear then that more needs to be done in order to protect family farms and this is indeed crucial to maintaining the food security that the Commissioner also referred to as a key priority.
“The only way for this country to bring about the innovation and market reorientation which he referred to is through developing our own strengths and advantages. That lies in focusing on the agri food sector as an engine of growth. That is a matter for domestic policy but in relation to the CAP it is absolutely essential that the position of Irish farmers is strengthened as part of any reform. There is broad agreement among members of the Committee and I along with Northern Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew will also be pushing that on an all Ireland basis during the forthcoming debate and negotiations.” ENDS