Minister for Agriculture and Deputy Tom Barry attend IFA meeting

At the invitation of local Fine Gael Deputy Tom Barry, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney attended an IFA meeting last Monday night at Mallow’s GAA complex. Minister Coveney gave a comprehensive explanation of the CAP Reform Legal Proposals and their implications for Irish farmers and rural development.

The meeting was very well attended and, speaking afterwards, Deputy Barry said: “I’d like to thank the Minister for coming down to North Cork to explain what these proposals mean to farmers; and I am confident that, in his role as Minister for Agriculture, when Ireland holds the Presidency of the EU in 2013, it will be an ideal opportunity for us to influence the negotiations with regards to CAP Reform.

These are very serious negotiations for Ireland – as up to €1.3 billion in funds comes from the EU to Ireland, annually. There are significant challenges facing Ireland in these negotiations, the first of which is the transition period between now and 2014, which is the proposed reference year. The second challenge is the distribution of funds from 2015 onwards.”

Deputy Barry also said that he is in the process of organising a meeting with the EU Agriculture Commission Dacian Ciolos to discuss both the sugar industry and CAP reform in the next number of weeks.