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McAleer demands immediate clarity from Europe

8 October, 2014 - by Declan McAleer

Sinn Féin's MLA Declan McAleer has called on the European Commission to provide immediate clarity on  both the 'head of holding' and 'active farmer' definitions as part of the most recent changes to the Common Agricultural Policy.

 Mr McAleer said,

 "With the significant changes to single farm applications just months away, there are considerable frustration amongst the farming community with Europe's failure to provide the necessary clarity on the definition of 'an active farmer’.

 “Unless this is addressed there could be delays to the Single Farm Payments.

 “Europe needs to set the correct definition now so these applications can be processed swiftly.

 "We have also learned of the unprecedented number of applicants who have applied to undertake their level 2 qualification as part of the young farmers scheme but are still awaiting clarity on the definition of 'head of holding' which is part of the application criteria. 

 "I'm aware that the Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill shares my frustration at the Commission’s delay in providing greater clarity.

 “I will therefore be writing to the European Commission demanding immediate clarity on these issues so that farmers can begin making the necessary readjustments to their farm businesses.” 

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