It is now vital that the Government puts forward a candidate who would give Ireland the maximum possible chance of retaining the trade portfolio, IFA president Tim Cullinan has said.
Following the resignation of the EU Commissioner, the IFA has highlighted the contribution Phil Hogan made during his five years as Commissioner for Agriculture, his recent tenure as Trade Commissioner and his 40 years of public service.
Strong and respected
The IFA president said the Commissioner was a strong and respected voice for agriculture and Ireland among the college of commissioners.
Cullinan said: “He was particularly forthright on Brexit, pointing out from the start the dangers and pitfalls in the UK referendum, and especially during the EU-UK negotiations in standing up to the UK government.
“He ensured that the full implications for Ireland and Irish farmers remained to the forefront of considerations in Brussels.”
In 2019, the EU Commission provided a €50m fund for Irish beef farmers to be matched by national funding.
Cullinan continued: “While some of the terms and conditions, included by the bureaucrats, took some of the gloss off the scheme, it resulted in €78m going to beef farmers at the backend of last year which was very badly needed.
“He also initiated the unfair trading practices directive, which could prove to be an important turning point in ensuring a fairer food chain.”