UFU Concern Over Leaked CAP Proposals

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has expressed its serious concern over the recently leaked EU Commission Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) proposals saying that “they are a recipe for more red tape and potentially lower farm incomes.”
calendar icon 12 August 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

Proposals for a reformed CAP post 2013 are currently being drafted in Brussels.

UFU President John Thompson said: “The leaked proposals are very alarming and the Union is seriously concerned. After an initial review it appears that greening and environmental issues dominate the document and that the Commission has lost sight of the critical issue of food security."

“The Union believes that food security is one of the most important global issues facing the world today and we have consistently stressed that a CAP that shows its commitment to farmers by providing meaningful financial support will be vitally important to ensuring that there is enough food available to feed the growing global population."

"This is especially crucial given the dysfunctional supply chain that exists not only in Northern Ireland but across Europe, which currently fails to cover the cost of producing food at the standard demanded by EU consumers."

“The EU Commission says one of its key objectives is to ensure viable food production, which is why I am confused by these leaked proposals. In order to achieve this aim, surely the EU Commission recognises that farming needs to be profitable, yet these draft proposals put farm incomes in serious jeopardy.”

While the Union does recognise that action needs to be taken to protect the environment, it has definite concerns that the measures proposed in the leaked documents will add more red tape for farmers and further increase input costs.

John Thompson continued: “The proposals made in the leaked document have a distinct emphasis on ‘greening’. The Union has always urged the Commission to ensure that Pillar 1 of the CAP is primarily directed at the economic production role of agriculture and believes that there is already enough ‘greening’ in Pillar 1 payments provided by cross compliance measures."

"Any additional ‘greening’ should be confined to Pillar 2, and as well as being incentivised and voluntary it should not pose further expense to farmers nor lead to any diminution of the competitive position of farmers in the global market place."

“We are concerned that implementing these proposals in their current form would not only be an administrative nightmare, further complicating an already complex system, but also has the potential to dramatically impact on farm incomes."

“Ultimately, we need to look at the proposals in more detail to get a better understanding of what the EU Commission is currently considering. However, the Union’s initial reaction is one of serious alarm; we will be urging the EU Commission to rethink its apparent approach to CAP reform to ensure an outcome which strikes the right balance between the critical economic and food production role which the farming industry plays and the need for environmental management.”

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