THE deputy president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association President (ICMSA), Pat McCormack, said that a number of compromises had been reached in the agreement by the EU Farm Council that would certainly assist Ireland in addressing various anomalies.
But he said the reality that must be remembered is that farm families throughout the country are still facing substantial cuts to their payments.
Mr McCormack, who was in Brussels monitoring the talks, and who was interviewed by RTE for his analysis, said that it was also important that people realise that this agreement does not represent the “endgame” of the process and that tripartite discussions between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission must now take place, leading to more uncertainty for farmers, until agreement is reached which is expected in June.
The ICMSA deputy president, who farms near Tipperary Town, said that while the agreement will need careful analysis it does appear that useful flexibilities have been achieved in relation to convergence of payments, Greening, Disadvantaged Areas and Pillar II.
But he was adamant that the coupling proposal at 7 per cent was a retrograde step and he said that ICMSA was disappointment that Ireland does not have discretion on introducing an overall upper limit or ‘ceiling’on payments.