Cllr Paraic Brady and his daughter Ellie met Mairead McGuinness MEP for Longford and the North/West, and first Vice-President of the European Parliament at the Tullamore Show
There are many who will see Brexit as the ideal opportunity to make radical changes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020, quite apart from the impact of the negotiations on the future of the single market for food and for the EU budget, Mairead McGuinness MEP told those gathered at Tullamore Show last week.
Speaking as she performed the official opening of the Tullamore and AIB National Livestock Show on Sunday she added, “Such radical change must be resisted given the importance of farming and food production”.
The local MEP went on to say that a large number of stakeholder responses to the Commission Consultation on the future of CAP, had come from environmental organisations taking the view that the CAP was broken and must be fixed.
“Such views will influence the future of the CAP both in terms of funding and detail,” she added.
“The Commission is also of the view that the policy must deliver more for the environment and climate change but there is very little clarity about how this will be achieved.”
Ms McGuinness MEP said more targeted payments were called for particularly in terms of specific environment and climate action.
“At the same time there is a unified call for simplification of the CAP,” she continued.
“These two demands are not compatible; more detailed programmes with specific delivery requirements involve inspections and controls and add bureaucracy rather than simplification.
“A much deeper debate is needed on how to shape the future of farming.
“Issues will arise again as we debate the next round of CAP but it should not overshadow the challenges facing agricultural and food policy in terms of market prices, volatility and environmental pressures.
"The future should be about ensuring that agriculture production systems are built on sustainability principles, both environmental and climate.”
She added, “CAP makes shows like this here in Tullamore possible by sustaining a living countryside and a vibrant agriculture. I complement the show committee and all involved in making this massive show happen year in year out - the level of commitment and the voluntary effort involved is incredible.”