The President of ICMSA said Ireland’s overriding priority for CAP 2020 has to be the maintenance of the overall CAP Budget.
Pat McCormack said the direct payments to farmers under CAP had a very significant ‘multiplier effect’ as they went out into the wider rural communities and it was impossible to exaggerate how critical the payments were to the continued viability of family farms especially in challenging years like the current one.
He acknowledged the efforts being made by Minister Creed to reach out to similarly inclined Member States and build a coalition aimed at maintaining the CAP Budget and he stressed that this must be considered a national interest on which Ireland can not compromise. That must mean the involvement of the Taoiseach and concentrated work at the level of Heads of State.
In the event of the Commission forcing through measures that would result in reduced direct payments then ICMSA’s position is crystal-clear: priority and precedence must be given to active farmers who depend on farming for their income.
He said ICMSA will continue to demand the interests of the family farm be recognised and protected.