The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said he supported the environmental ambition of the Commission proposals for a post-2020 CAP, but highlighted the need for a strong CAP budget if those ambitions are to be realised.
Speaking at the Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting in Luxembourg yesterday (Monday, 15 October), the Minister told the Council that “Our ambitions for the environment and for the agriculture sector are two sides of the same coin, but we cannot continue to ask farmers to do more and more while at the same time proposing to cut the CAP budget.”
Following the Council meeting, Creed held bilateral meetings with his Danish and Spanish counterparts on Brexit, CAP Reform, and Fisheries priorities.
Creed and his Danish Counterpart, Eva Kjer Hansen, spoke about Brexit and agreed to continue their cooperation in respect of fisheries through the upcoming period of uncertainty.
Speaking to the Spanish Minister, Luis Planas, he reiterated the importance of maintaining a strong CAP budget and the significant value of delivering on the environmental ambition underpinning the future of the CAP, as well as discussing key concerns with regard to Brexit.
“I welcome the understanding that both Ministers demonstrated in our discussions today with regard to Brexit and its impact on both the Irish agri-food and fisheries sectors,” Creed said.
“There is a strong appreciation of the Irish concerns in the context of Brexit negotiations and I very much welcome the ongoing support provided by my Danish and Spanish colleagues in this regard.”
Regarding fisheries, the Minister addressed with Planas the setting of the Mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) and quotas for 2019 in a situation where the scientific advice advocates a 61% cut from 2018.
“We need to take full account of the concerns from the scientists themselves about this year’s advice and take account of the socio-economic importance of the Mackerel fishery when deciding on a TAC for 2019,” the Minister concluded.
“We must work closely at an EU level with Norway and the Faroe Islands, our partners in the management agreement, to reach a balanced outcome that avoids undue inter-annual fluctuation in the management of the stock”.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.