CAP deal ‘deeply depressing’, says FIE

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From a press release from Friends of the Irish Environment, 20/3/2012
Ireland’s resistance to CAP reform is ‘deeply depressing’ to those seeking environmental protection and social justice.

The lobby group says that ‘The position brokered by Ireland undermines the Commissions attempts to create an agricultural policy that will ensure all farmers can meet their full potential and prepare for a future where agriculture is competitive without reliance on subsidies.’

‘More than 20 years ago the Commission’s 1991 paper The Development and Future of the CAP criticised the distribution of price support, noting that “80% of the support provided by FEOGA is devoted to 20% of farms which account also for the greater part of the land used in agriculture”. Yet the proportions remain exactly the same in both the EU-15 and EU-12 today, according to the Commission’s latest figures.’

‘The claims that “inactive farmers” should not receive a fair share of taxpayers money ignores the fact that agriculture remains a major economic and social driving force in Ireland’s rural areas, and an important factor in maintaining a living countryside.’

‘Further, the export market that is being subsided by current CAP payments  and by the export refunds instrument have a negative impact on food production in developing countries with the consequent adverse social impacts.’

FIE Director Tony Lowes said that ‘For both environmental and social reasons, Ireland’s undermining of the proposed CAP reforms is deeply depressing.’