The Government must allow “real negotiation” on the CAP strategic plan and engage with farmers as a priority, IFA president Tim Cullinan has stated.

Cullinan said the IFA has not been satisfied with previous Department of Agriculture consultations, referring to the consultation process as “a box-ticking exercise to give the Government carte blanche to do whatever they like”.

Cullinan has said that a comprehensive submission on the CAP plan was approved by the IFA after a special national council meeting on Wednesday, suggesting that the Department shift the focus of its consultation to negotiating the plan with actual farmers.

Specific areas of farmer concern for the CAP strategic plan mentioned by the IFA included the Climate Act’s legally binding sectoral targets, the Nitrates Action Programme and the ring-fencing of carbon tax revenue for sequestration measures.

“The Government needs to sit down with farmers and treat us with respect instead of lumping us in with other ‘stakeholders’ who have no skin in the game,” the IFA president insisted.