Video: Farm payments deal to see ‘more winners than losers’, Coveney says
Agreement will see introduction of flexible ‘Irish model’ of farm payments
Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
The agreement on the single farm payment reached in Brussels last night will see more winners than losers, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said.
Mr Coveney made his comments after agreement was reached during late night negotiations on the single farm payment as part of wider reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (Cap).
Ireland ’s position supported the introduction of a flexible system of redistribution where greater productivity would be allowed for as well as financial support for Irish farmers whose land does not have the capacity to produce more.
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Mr Coveney said the “Irish model” was succesfully negotiated over the European Commission ’s proposal of a flat-rate payment per acre.
“I am glad to say that the alternative Irish model, if you can call it that, has been adopted in full. We haven’t had to compromise at all, which is welcome and I think that is why farming organisations this morning will welcome the progress we made,” Mr Coveney told RTÉ.
Mr Coveney said farmers who are currently in receipt of higher supports will lose some payments while farmers who receive the “lowest supports” will gain “significantly".
Mr Coveney said it was important that redistribution was managed in a way that doesn't put farmers out of business but redistributes money “in a way that's fair” to those who didn't have high payments previously.
“They will get higher payments. There will be more winners than losers in this redistributions
“About 60,000 farmers in Ireland will see increases in their payments, about 54,000 farmers will see losses," Mr Coveney said.
Describing last night’s agreement as just another “step” in the process, Mr Coveney said he hoped European Parliament approval of the agreement would be reached by the end of June.