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CAP Conference At The Tipperary Institute

The Common Agricultural Policy is worth over €1 billion to the Irish economy in purely financial terms, but it is possibly three times that figure when the jobs created by this money are taken into account, stated Labour MEP Alan Kelly addressing the CAP Conference organised today at the Tipperary Institute.

He further stated:-
“The new CAP must ensure the competitiveness of Irish agriculture, seek to reduce regulation and be linked to job creation in rural areas. However, to achieve this we must start the debate now as it will be the major issue in European Union circles shortly.”

IFA President John Bryan said farmers expect the Government to strongly defend the record of the CAP, and insist on a fully-funded budget post-2013.

Mr Bryan stated:
“Price and income volatility in agriculture has increased greatly since the 2003 CAP reform, with the decoupling of payments from production, and greater exposure to an increasingly liberalised and unregulated world market. This is threatening the viability of the European family farm structure and must be addressed urgently. EU policymakers must learn from the experiences of the last few years and amend the CAP structures appropriately to counteract market volatility and protect farm families. EU food security can only be achieved through promoting policies that secure the production of sustainable, high-quality food produced in Europe for its consumers. The CAP provides 500 million European consumers with a guaranteed supply of food. The sector employs over 40 million people and production is carried out in a sustainable way that protects the land, the environment and animal welfare. While Irish and European food is renowned for its quality, food prices have actually lagged well behind general inflation, largely as a result of financial supports provided by CAP to farmers.”

He further stated that the CAP post 2013 must:

* Retain the Single Farm Payment at its current level;
* The Single Farm Payment must be directed at supporting active farmers, on a historical basis as currently operates;
* Rural Development Funding must remain a co-financing commitment;
* Separately funded and effective market support and management measures;
* Simplified payment and cross compliance systems.

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