Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has pledged to publish CAP modelling that will show the flow of money between different farming sectors.
Financial modelling published to date has focused on providing farmers with updates on how individual entitlement rates would change in the next CAP, but the overall movement of money from one sector to another has not been provided.
In an exclusive interview with Irish Farmers Journal editor Justin McCarthy on Tuesday night, Minister McConalogue acknowledged the importance of providing farmers with as much information as possible as part of the CAP consultation process.
The expectation is that these models will lay bare the exodus of money from tillage and drystock farms to dairy farms through convergence
He said that modelling of the different money flows between sectors had been completed by his department and will be published as part of the consultation process.
The expectation is that these models will lay bare the exodus of money from tillage and drystock farms to dairy farms through convergence and other cuts.
The farm organisations have been slow to look for this modelling as it’s a divisive issue but the Minister’s confirmation that it will be published will be welcomed by many.
Referring to the controversial clawback of BEAM penalties from farmers’ ANC payments without prior notice, the minister said what happened wasn’t acceptable and that he was very annoyed at it.
“Good communication is very important and those payments and how they are delivered is crucial. Every department will make a mistake and it’s important that those mistakes are admitted and those farmers will all be getting letters apologising for the manner in which that money was taken from them.”
Taking this support from Pillar I funding would mean a cut to everybody’s payment
The minister said he was committed to supporting the suckler cow. He indicated that his preference was to do this via Pillar II funding.
“Taking this support from Pillar I funding would mean a cut to everybody’s payment and that would be a difficult challenge,” he maintained.
The minister highlighted the importance of both production systems (dairy beef and suckler beef) but added that suckler beef was always going to be “the anchor” of our beef production model.
The Minister also went on to say that he expected some positive news on the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) application for Irish grass-fed beef
“I am very clear in my commitment to the suckler herd and when we formulate the next CAP, the suckler cow will be central to that,” he said
The Minister also went on to say that he expected some positive news on the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) application for Irish grass-fed beef from the EU which would back up Ireland’s credentials as a producer of sustainable beef.
When pressed on the possibility of a slaughter premium being included in this year’s budget, the minister kicked to touch, saying only that he was trying to ensure the best possible outcome for agriculture in the budget.