CAP reform is going to be a disadvantage to the people actually farming the land in favour of the people who own the land, the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has said.
ICSMA president Pat McCormack said such a situation would go against the founding principle of CAP, which was “the supply of food through farming – not a support system for landowners”.
“There’s a fundamental incoherence and unfairness about a CAP system that takes money from someone farming for a living with an overall payment of €10,000 to fund additional payments to someone - usually a less active farmer - who might already be in receipt of a payment of €50,000.
“This is the basic problem and it’s one that this model of convergence can never reconcile,” McCormack said.
“We keep being told what the motives behind the new system are, but the motives are not what matters; what matters is the outcome.”
He said Ireland now had to concentrate on getting maximum autonomy and flexibility within the parameters of the overall CAP likely to emerge.
“It’s now a question of the Irish Government working towards getting the maximum flexibility that will allow us to mitigate the worst results of the very flawed logic behind this CAP,” he said.
The ICMSA president was scathing on the approach being taken to capping maximum payments.
“We’re already seeing and hearing all the elementary sub-division ruses and structures that will easily circumvent the maximum payments ceiling,” he said.
“Again, we have a reform that is so easily swerved around that it’s difficult not to come to the conclusion that the long-term aim here is to actually make the whole idea of direct supports disreputable.”
McCormack said that it may seem cynical, but the damage being done to the principles of CAP was so deep that things seemed to be moving past incompetence and “into something more deliberate”.