Independent MEP Marian Harkin has warned Irish farmers about the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Ms Harkin who was speaking at the annual dinner of Sligo IFA last month said that International trade agreements and proposals from the European Commission for re-mapping of disadvantaged areas would pose serious questions for decision makers in Ireland.
“The mapping of disadvantaged areas by the European Commission in 2014/15 has huge implications for the less favoured farming areas, the Independent MEP stated, adding that the way in which Pillar 11 funds would be distributed was now “hugely important”. “The debate on this issue will involve both the EU Council of Ministers and the Irish government and whatever decisions are taken in Ireland in relation to Pillar 1 will have significant influence on how Ireland’s agriculture minister determines the future mapping of disadvantaged areas.”
She went on to say that international trade agreements would not only be determined by German and other producers of industrial goods for export - that there would be influential interests in Ireland “who will be keen to improve access for their goods and services”. “On the domestic front there is a need to confront the growing concentration of retail purchasing power in the hands of the multiples, many of whose actions pose a serious threat to the primary producer,” Ms Harkin continued. “At both national and European levels there is a political imperative to ensure that quality traceable Irish, and EU produced food, is protected and promoted by national and EU policies in the long term interest of Irish and EU consumers.”