It is a crunch week for CAP negotiations and IFA president Tim Cullinan has said that the EU’s farm policy must remain focused on supporting farmers to produce safe, nutritious food sustainably.
The European Parliament is voting on amendments to the draft proposals and agricultural ministers are meeting this week to secure an agreed position. Once the two institutions have a firm position, final negotiations will begin with the European Commission.
“The reality is that the new CAP will give member states more flexibility to design their own strategic plans, but the enabling legislation will still be crucial,” Cullinan said.
While the new CAP is nearing agreement, it will not commence until 1 January 2023. Instead there will be a two-year transition phase.
Over 1,000 amendments have been tabled by MEPs in the Parliament as they seek to put their stamp on the proposals published by then Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan.
Cullinan said: “It is important to remember that the CAP cannot do everything. The focus of the CAP must remain on supporting farmers to produce safe, nutritious food sustainably for the benefit of consumers in Europe and beyond.”
“Farming must be sustainable economically as well as environmentally. Many aspects of the CAP proposals and the EU Green Deal will put more cost on farmers without any extra return. This is not sustainable.”
Future of farming
The IFA president said the new rules and strategic plans would be vital for the future of farming as farmers were experiencing falling prices and most imposed costs.
“We need to strike the right balance to ensure economic as well as environmental sustainability,” he concluded.