IRELAND – Irish Farmers’ Association President John Bryan has wished all farm families good health, and especially safe farming in the year ahead. He asked all farmers, in every task and every day, to put farm safety top of their work agenda in 2013.
The IFA President wished the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Irish Government well during the Irish Presidency of the EU for the next six months.
“2013 is going to be a defining year for the future of productive farming, with the conclusions of the CAP reform negotiations key among the issues of concern. The immediate priority must be to ensure that a full EU CAP Budget is secured for Ireland by our Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Heads of Government meeting in February. Farmers will be expecting Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to deliver the necessary flexibilities in the future Single Farm Payment system that supports active farmers and does not disrupt production at farm level. Funding for Pillar 11 will be critical for vulnerable regions and sectors.”
Mr Bryan said farmers’ biggest hope for 2013 would be better weather conditions and an early spring to help cope with winter fodder/quality shortages as a result of the disastrous wet weather conditions of last summer. The recent wet conditions were continuing and impacting very negatively on farm costs, work pressures and ground/crop conditions.
The IFA President said that escalating on-farm input costs were pushing many production systems into a loss-making situation. “Processors and retailers must be forced through legislation to secure more equity in the food supply chain and return a price to farmers that covers the costs of production and leaves a margin.”
Mr Bryan said that farmers expected the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to deliver on his promise of boats to facilitate live exports of cattle early in 2013. The IFA President said the Minister must also revisit the budget decisions taken which will impact most negatively on the low-income drystock sector.
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