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‘Level playing field’ needed as Irish beef sector struggles to compete

IFA president, Tim Cullinan, has recently stated that the increasing costs and restrictions being placed on European farmers while cutting the budget for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is contradictory.

In an address to European Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski at the COPA Praesidium, Cullinan stated that the proposed CAP budget for 2021-2027 is very concerning.

The farm leader said the funding to Pillar 1 is particularly worrying, as it could result in actual cuts to the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) on top of the impact of inflation.

He stated that direct payments are currently worth 1.8 billion to Irish farmers annually and this must increase to 2 billion in the next CAP.

“The recent demands on farmers under the Farm to Fork Strategy are not being met by appropriate funding. Irish farmers already meet best-practice standards in their usage of antimicrobial medicines,” he said.

Third country imports

Addressing some other concerns, Cullinan queried the budget allocated to farmers within the Just Transition Fund of €40 billion. He also called for a review on imports from other countries that did not meet EU standards.

“Sectors such as the Irish beef sector with 90% of exports going to the UK and continental Europe are struggling to compete with imports from third countries because we don’t have a level playing field,” he said.

Disappointment

In concluding, the IFA president expressed his disappointment that for a strategy that included the word ‘farm’ in the title, the Agriculture Commissioner was not present at the launch of the recent Farm to Fork strategy.

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