Agriculture Package An Insult To Farmers

Sinn Féin MEP and member of the EU Parliaments Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, Matt Carthy has described the package of measures announced on Monday by the Commission as an insult to Farmers. Carthy accused the commission of having missed an important opportunity to stabilise farm incomes and said that the lack of comprehensive action could mean that many farmers will be concerned for their futures in the sector.


Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg Carthy said:


“The package of measures announced by the European Commission are wholly inadequate and are an insult to those farmers in Ireland and across Europe who were hoping that this week would see decisive action to tackle the farm income crisis that has developed.


“The decision to bring forward 70% of pillar 1 CAP payments will be gratefully accepted by farmers but let’s not pretend that this is anything other than farmers receiving payments they were entitled to anyway a little earlier than expected. It won’t address the underlining issues at the root of this crisis.


“Political decisions at an EU level, including those which have contributed to the Russian embargo, were made without any recourse to or consideration of farming communities, yet it is those same communities who are paying the price and in turn their livelihoods are now in the balance.


“Farmers across the board will be bitterly disappointed by the commission’s position but Dairy farmers will be especially bewildered. They had a right to expect real action especially in the area of intervention price. They are supplying below the cost of production in a scenario that is simply not sustainable. The EU has left itself in the position that the only meaningful input it can have in the market is through intervention prices. Yet the current intervention price of 21c is well below the cost of production and bizarrely the commission has avoided making the decision that could have had a positive effect by increasing the price to 25c as Sinn Féin have been arguing for.


“Irish agriculture communities will be rightly disappointed that Commissioner Phil Hogan failed to put the survival of farmers ahead of the short term interests of markets and introduce an increase in intervention prices. Considering many of those in the Dairy sector invested heavily on the basis of encouragements from government over recent years I fear many will be questioning their future in the sector unless an urgent re-think is forthcoming”.


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