The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) met EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan in Brussels last week to discuss the possible consequences of a ‘no deal’ Brexit and supports for Irish farmers.
IFA president Joe Healy was accompanied by director general Damian McDonald and European director Liam MacHale, while Hogan was joined by Tom Tynan from his Cabinet.
“We stressed to the Commissioner that Irish farmers, particularly in the beef sector, are already suffering huge losses as a consequence of the Brexit decision. Urgent action is needed from the Commission,” Healy said.
“The Commissioner was clear that, while Brexit will impact all Member States to varying degrees, no Member State will be more affected than Ireland.”
Hogan confirmed that the Commission is ready to help Ireland to find solutions which deal with the specific challenges facing Irish businesses, not least Irish farmers and the Irish agri-food sector, which has a particular exposure to the UK.
“In that respect, the Commissioner was clear that the measures available under the CAP and used in other cases of market disturbance would be available,” Healy added.
During previous disturbances, such as BSE and the Russian import ban, saw the EU intervene with aids to private storage as well as financial aid through additional direct payments.
The IFA has calculated that for each 5c/kg change in cattle prices, farmers would need €20 per head direct payment support.
“We also raised the issue of the CAP reform and in particular the need for a strong budget. The reduction in CAP payments has contributed to the drastic situation farmers find themselves in. They cannot take any further cuts,” he concluded.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.