Delivering a strong CAP (Common Agriculture Policy) Budget for Irish farmers is a key priority for Andrew Doyle, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Fine Gael European Parliament candidate. Andrew Doyle was speaking with farmers today (Monday) in Portlaoise with Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed, highlighting Fine Gael’s priorities for the CAP post 2020.
Minister Doyle said: “A strong CAP budget will be really important for Irish farmers in the coming years as we tackle issues like climate change and Brexit. Experience in dealing with the CAP at both a national and EU level will be crucially important over the coming months, to deliver a good deal for Irish farmers. I will draw on my experience at an EU level, as a Minister with responsibility in this area and as a farmer who understands the practicalities of the CAP to ensure Ireland has the best possible team fighting for CAP for Irish farmers.”
Minister Doyle also committed to prioritising a reform of the CAP which supports active and productive farmers.
“It is very hard in 2019 to justify a payment model that is based on a reference year that’s almost twenty years old. My priority as an MEP would be to focus on the continued modernisation of the CAP, in a way that rewards active, genuine farmers. Moving immediately to a flat rate payments system is something I am very wary of. We need to ensure we are not inadvertently placing efficient, productive farmers at a disadvantage.”
Minister Doyle said the next CAP will place even greater emphasis on the environment and farmers need adequate support to deliver on this ambition.
“A really significant priority for me is the environment. The consumer is demanding a greener CAP and it is in the best interests of farmers to deliver it. Greater profitability and stronger environmental credentials go hand in hand. But if farmers are being asked to do more, they need to be supported with a strong CAP Budget and this is my priority.”
Finally, Andrew Doyle said generational renewal would also be a key priority for him as an MEP for Ireland South.
“I want to see the CAP provide more supports for young farmers. Generational renewal in family farming is a big issue. There also has to be fairness at every stage of the supply chain so that farming is sustainable for the next generation of farmers.”
Speaking today (Monday) in Portlaoise, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed TD said securing a strong Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget is just as important for Irish consumers as it is for farmers.
“There is a significant threat to the CAP Budget post 2020 due to Brexit and competing demands on the EU Budget. The CAP is not only vitally important to farmers, it also guarantees consumers with food produced at the highest standards of food safety and quality.”
Minister Creed said it is a fact that Irish and European farmers have significantly lower income levels to those in other sectors, with remuneration from the market frequently at levels lower than the cost of production and high levels of business uncertainty due to weather and market volatility. They produce food that is of the highest quality and safety levels, at relatively low cost to the consumer, to guarantee Irish and European families a secure food supply that meets the highest standards in the world. The CAP also facilitates significant investment in the environment, encouraging farmers to act as custodians of the land and its biodiversity.
“The CAP provides farm families with the necessary support to continue this system of production, to the benefit of all of us. Without a strong CAP budget, farm families would have to reconsider this way of life and that would be to the detriment of every consumer in the country.”
Minister Creed said it is vitally important that we have the very best team representing us in Europe to deliver a strong CAP Budget for Ireland.
“Fine Gael has the strongest team at every level, in Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, our team of MEP candidates and our links to the European People’s Party. Andrew Doyle has the experience of not only representing Ireland at an EU level as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine but as a farmer, also has the practical understanding necessary to deal with the complex nature of the proposals being discussed in the CAP negotiations. Both farmers and consumers need that kind of voice at the table when important policies like the CAP are being discussed.”