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HomeFarming NewsThe case of floor price subsidies for Irish agricultural  commodities  
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The case of floor price subsidies for Irish agricultural  commodities  

Promoting  sustainability and prosperity: The case of   floor price subsidies for Irish agricultural  commodities  

In this article on, Tadgh Quill-Manley is a council member of the Munster Agricultural Society, and a board member of the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, discusses subsidies. 

He is also a volunteer board member of Cork Craft & Design, and the Cork Textiles Network.


Ireland’s lush, fertile fields thrive   on   agriculture,   the   foundation  of the  country’s heritage and  economy.

As the European Union commits   to  sustainable development and equitable livelihoods, it is imperative to  consider   proposals   to   introduce   floor   price  subsidies for  key  agricultural  commodities   –  milk,  meat  and  wool   –   to   strengthen   Ireland’s   agricultural  sector.  is.

This article  attempts   to   explain  the rationale behind such subsidies,  citing   various  relevant EU regulations and directives that  emphasize  the need to ensure the resilience,  prosperity  and future of Irish farmers.

EU Regulations and Directives: A Solid Foundation 

Central   to   this   debate   is  the  important  Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a testament to the EU’s commitment to  developing  a  resilient  and sustainable agricultural sector.

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This   framework   aligns   the  principles of fair  remuneration  and rural  development.  Directive 1308/2013,  introducing   a  common market organization  for  agricultural products,  recognizes  the delicate balance between market forces and the  need  to  protect  farmers from  undue  price fluctuations.

On  this  basis  we  meet  the spirit of the World Trade Organization (WTO)  Agriculture  Agreement  that  the EU is a  signatory   to.

By considering subsidies that  strengthen  rural livelihoods and promote sustainable practices, we  endorse   the  WTO’s recognition of the centrality of agriculture  to  socioeconomic well-being.

The introduction of  price   floor  subsidies for Irish agricultural products would  be  a beacon of hope for  Irish  farmers,  creating   an  environment that  protects  them from unpredictable market  volatility.

The dairy sector, which  makes   a   significant   contribution  to  the   Irish  economy, could  get  a much-needed boost from subsidies that guarantee fair compensation.

This  approach   is   endorsed  by Article 42 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European  Union   and  recognizes the importance of improving  the  living and working  conditions   of   farmers.

In addition,  meat production, another  cornerstone  of Irish agriculture,  will   benefit  from subsidies that  guarantee   realistic  prices for livestock. Directive  2009/128/EC on  promoting  the  sustainable  use   of   pesticides  underscores the EU’s  intention  to  provide   incentives   for   environmentally  responsible practices.

Minimum  price  subsidies, as practised in other countries through various historical examples, allow  farmers to prioritize animal welfare,  high-quality   feed  and  eco-friendly   agriculture,   and   are   fully   compatible  with the EU’s pursuit of sustainable development.

 A return to tradition and local prosperity   

A  timeless symbol of Irish heritage,  wool  has faced challenges in recent decades. By  subsidizing  the wool  industry,  the EU can  boost  local economies and  rural  employment  opportunities.

Established  by Regulation 1305/2013,  the   LEADER   program  explicitly  supports   local  development projects that  revitalize  traditional practices.  Subsidizing  wool production  embodies  this spirit,  revitalizing  an industry that is deeply  tied   to  Irish  culture.

As the winds of change sweep across Europe, the European Union’s commitment to a  sustainable   and   just  future  is becoming increasingly clear.

The introduction of minimum  price  subsidies for Irish agricultural  commodities   (milk,  meat,  wool)   is  a beacon of hope for farmers,  communities  and traditions.

Rooted in the principles of CAP, fortified by WTO agreements, and driven by a vision of prosperity, these subsidies represent a tangible testament to the EU’s dedication to nurturing sustainability and safeguarding the livelihoods that enrich our landscapes and souls.

In the verdant pastures of Ireland, a brighter, more resilient future awaits—a future fueled by the harmonious synergy of agriculture, sustainability, and prosperity.

However, as members of society, we are charged with social responsibilities, in which we must protect the most vulnerable. In doing so, the real living issues facing working farmers today must take priority.

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