CAP reform, Brexit, fertiliser prices and live exports filled the agenda of a meeting between the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) and European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union Mairead McGuinness this week.
IFA president Tim Cullinan led a delegation that met with Commissioner McGuinness at the Commission headquarters in Dublin.
The IFA said it stressed the most recent concerns surrounding Irish calf exports following a Brussels vote on new transport regulation recommendations.
Cullinan said: “While CAP reform has more or less concluded at EU level, we stressed to Mairead McGuinness that the Irish Government needs to use the latitude negotiated in the agreement to do more to support productive farmers and the vulnerable sectors.
“In addition, member states should be allowed to use the flexibility available to them, rather than feeling pressurised to implement the targets in the EU Farm to Fork plan, which are not binding.”
The IFA also highlighted its concerns about escalating input prices on farm margins and called for Commissioner McGuinness and colleagues to work to remove anti-dumping duties that apply to fertiliser coming into the EU.
The IFA told the commissioner that Irish “farmers have not felt the full brunt of Brexit so far”.
“While the allocation to Ireland under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve is certainly welcome, it's unclear within the terms and conditions how farmers will qualify.
“The trade deals the UK are doing and the impact this could have on Irish farmers in the period ahead is concerning.”
Cullinan said the IFA also emphasised the challenges posed by the removal of UK concessions through 2022, as well as concerns about Irish producers being able to secure seed potatoes from the UK.