Any cuts in the Common Agricultural Policy budget due to Brexit would undermine EU solidarity, warns IFA president Joe Healy.
Responding to the launch of a public consultation on the future of CAP, Mr Healy said EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan’s top priority should be to ensure farmers achieve viable incomes in return for the high quality food they produce.
“Strong funding for the CAP budget is justified by the multiple benefits the policy brings for all European citizens, in terms of sustainable food production, environmental protection and economic development,” said Mr Healy.
The IFA leader said EU priorities should include: Improving farm incomes via a stronger CAP budget; a functioning market that gives farmers a viable price; ensuring direct payments go to active farmers who protect the environment and produce quality food, and an enhanced Rural Development Programme for farm schemes.
Mr Healy welcomed Mr Hogan’s indication that he is seeking to develop extra instruments to boost farmers’ resilience against volatility. He said these moves must come in addition to effective market supports to protect farm incomes in times of market collapse.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved