Sinn Féin endorse UFU campaign against Red Tape
Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has endorsed the Ulster Farmers Union campaign against red tape.
Ms Gildernew said:
"The reform of CAP and the Single Farm Payment was supposed to ensure that farmers had the freedom to farm and the freedom to diversify. However, the culture of bureaucracy and red tape that continues to exist within DARD is making a mockery of that objective. If anything the situation is now far worse. Farmers are facing a death by a thousand cuts.
"Farmers are not getting a fair deal, they are being strangled by an overly bureaucratic approach, particularly to the implementation of EU regulations.
"Sinn Féin have already fully endorsed the demand for a 'Charter of Farmers' Rights' in the north, similar to the one in the south to protect the rights of the farming community. The comparison between the Œzero tolerance‚ approach adopted by DARD compared our counterparts in the South shows the need for a new approach here.
"Similarly a comparison about the way that DARD operate the single Farm Payment scheme in the north again highlights the culture of red tape. Bureaucracy, a lack of support and inflexibility are the hallmark of the way that DARD does business in the north.
"There have been a number of very interesting comments in recent weeks, particularly from political figures such as Ian Paisley and Jim Allister, about the relationships and comparisons across the island.
"Sinn Féin has consistently argued that our farmers in the north are not getting a fair deal. The department has not been their champion and the British framework doesn‚t just fail our industry it sells us short in Europe.
"The case for the all-Ireland approach is extremely strong when it comes to all of the farming sectors, as well as the fishing industry and in relation to the implementation of EU regulations. I welcome the growing acknowledgement of this across the political spectrum. It is essential that as champions of rural communities that we put the interests of our rural industries, particularly farming, and rural communities first." ENDS