Proposed changes would damage capacity to expand agri-food sector


The changes being proposed to the Common Agricultural Policy would “significantly damage” Ireland’s capacity to expand its agri-food sector, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said yesterday.

He said the European Commission wished to base the annual single farm payment on the amount of land farmers owned, rather than on the amount they produced. The single farm payment is based on what farmers were producing 10 years ago.

Mr Coveney said this situation could not continue but the switch to the flat rate payment per hectare was not the answer. Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week radio programme, he said the EU plan “would significantly damage, in my view, Ireland’s capacity to grow its agri-food sector in line with the ambitions we’ve outlined in the Food Harvest 2020 strategy.”