Macra national president Seán Finan and chief executive Edmond Connolly were in Brussels last week to represent Macra na Feirme at a CEJA working group in Copa Cogeca headquarters.
CEJA, the European Council of Young Farmers, acts as a forum for communication and dialogue between young farmers and European decision makers.
Its main objective is to promote a younger and innovative agricultural sector across the EU and to create good working and living conditions for young people setting up in farming and those who are already young farmers.
The main focus of the working group was to adopt CEJA’s working programme 2016-17.
CEJA’s main focus for this year is to discuss and develop a policy towards CAP 2020 with an emphasis on access to land, finance, the environment, risk management and market volatility tools.
Macra stated that CAP needs to focus more on active farmers and look at issues around the five-year rule and reward progressive and productive young farmers.
While in Brussels. Mr Finan and Mr Connolly attended a dinner hosted by MEP Mairead McGuinness.
At the event, Ms McGuinness chaired a debate on various issues affecting young farmers.
Mr Finan also spoke about the issues affecting Irish young farmers.
Alternative support systems were discussed with contributions from the US, Canadian, Swedish, and Australian missions to the EU.
Each presenter outlined agriculture in their country plus the supports available to young farmers.
There was then an internal discussion among CEJA members on the alternative supports systems for young farmers in CAP 2020.
The next working group is in Cologne, Germany, alongside a conference on crop protection hosted by BDL, the German young farmer group.
IFAC Accountants are Macra’s partners in young farmer development groups in Ireland.
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