Tipperary MEP tours Munster to get farmers’ views

Farmers and traders linked to the agri-food industry across Munster are being encouraged to attend a series of information meetings to debate their views on the future of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

Farmers and traders linked to the agri-food industry across Munster are being encouraged to attend a series of information meetings to debate their views on the future of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

Labour MEP Phil Prendergast has decided to host sessions in Counties Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford over the coming weeks to get feedback from the agricultural community on their concerns and proposals for CAP reform.

Negotiations for the overall EU budget for the period 2014 to 2020 are currently underway, and it’s feared that the economic troubles facing many member states could impact badly on the European farm budget. The current CAP budget accounts for about 36 per cent of the overall EU budget, so if member states cut their contributions it could pose a real danger for Irish farmers.

Four key reports published in Brussels recently discuss the future of direct payments to farmers, support for rural development, provisions for certain agricultural products and the financing of the CAP. These reports form the backbone of the European Parliament’s proposals for farmers, and Ms Prendergast is keen to hear “from the horse’s mouth” if farmers feel the plans are workable.

“The most important thing we need as MEPs right now is feedback from the ground on the workability of the proposals. We have the opportunity to submit amendments to this legislation at this stage, and as such I would encourage all interested parties to get in contact me directly on phil@philprendergast.ie,” she said.

“I hope that this will lead to practical feedback which can then be incorporated into amendments to the legislation, so that we can get the best possible deal secured for our farming families and communities.”