A farm group has suggested that Minister Charlie McConalogue could conduct a farm referendum to collect the preferred options of Irish farmers in the context of the CAP.
The Irish Beef & Lamb Association – IBLA – believes the minister could undertake this action if he “has any doubt about how farmers should be heard and consulted with further”.
It outlined that he has the technical capacity to do so through his department and the Central Statistics Office.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the farm group said:
“The Central Statistics Office has vast capabilities to print and deliver such a referendum to every herd number on this island.”
“The CSO can also correlate these results to obtain the will of Irish farmers on how they see the best and fairest distribution of CAP funding and in that process, define what the best result for them from the current CAP process can be.”
The group stated that it recognises the challenge ahead for Minister McConalogue in “finding a position that suits all the dominant farm organisations who are also divided on the distribution of CAP funding”.
“No longer can the chosen few in our society be protected at the cost of the many small family farms throughout Ireland.”
Online survey on CAP
The group stated its recent online survey relating to CAP has “shown clearly” how the wider farming diaspora are thinking about CAP.
“The EU has given each member the autonomy to find and put in place, the best approach for their own farmers.”
“This must be carried out in a fair, transparent and democratic way. It is time to let farmers decide what they want.”
“IBLA is the only farm organisation to conduct a survey for farmers to gather their preferred options.”
“The Minister for Agriculture must carry out the same to allow true democracy take place and allow the farmers have their voice heard on this CAP deal.”