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Opinion: Credit where credit is due for McConalogue

The IBLA commends Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, for his efforts in respect of the CAP consultation process.  

The Irish Beef & Lamb Association – IBLA – wishes to give credit where credit is due.

The Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, has adopted a new, fresh and modern approach to stakeholder engagement.

The minister has gone out on the ground to walk among the primary producers of Ireland, the front line workers in agriculture.

He has shown, at meeting after meeting, a very clear understanding and an in-depth knowledge of CAP.

His ability to converse openly and frankly with primary producers has struck a chord with those in attendance.

He has gone out to see and hear for himself at first hand; what matters are on farmers’ minds. This has never occurred before in a CAP consultation process and we would this.

McConalogue 

A new and modern farming era is beckoning, one where a sustainable and viable future is required and one with a new and modern approach to stakeholder engagement.

The old boys club time is up. The factory protests of 2019 have shown this, along with public engagement with farmers through the surveys undertaken.

Farmers require sight of a fair and transparent process to show how policy is decided and delivered.

The minister has taken it to the next level and has gone out on the ground to seek opinions on how to steer agriculture in the best direction, rather than through lobby groups, those with vested interests and conflicted representation.

The minister has shown an approach to the farming public on how to do the right thing. The delivery of doing the right thing for all and being a minister for all is firmly in his court.

His approach has not sat well with those who claimed power to speak for all. Those speaking from both sides of their mouths have been exposed openly. The nationwide tour of marts has shown this clearly.

Furthermore, we wish McConalogue well in the next steps of developing CAP for Irish farmers.

The minister cannot discount the voices in the mart auditoriums. Policy decisions must benefit as many primary producers as possible.

The chosen few have grown fat and greedy at the trough.

Lastly, it is time to share the pie fairly among all farmers.

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