Coveney favours ‘big farm operators’ at expense of smaller farmers – Ó Domhnaill

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Ó Domhnaill has accused the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney of supporting the big earners under the Single Farm Payment at the expense of smaller farmers with low Single Farm Payments (SFP).

Speaking to Minister Coveney and his officials at the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee today (Thursday 06th November), the Donegal Senator said, “The European Commission is proposing changes to the distribution of Ireland’s €1.24 billion annual CAP allocation. Commissioner Dacian Ciolos is proposing that CAP funding would be redistributed from farmers with the highest entitlements to those with the lowest. This would guarantee all farmers flat-rate payments of around €270 /ha.

“The current basis on which SFP payments are allocated is completely out of date. A farmer’s SFP is determined by how much stock he or she had between 2000 and 2002. Almost 40% of Irish SFPs are going to the top 10 per cent of Farmers with 70 per cent of farmers receiving less than €10,000 per annum. The two biggest earners in 2008 were Larry Goodman’s Irish Agricultural Development Company, which received €508,390 in subsidies and Kepak Farm, which received €346,118.

“The Commissioner is now proposing a new simpler and fairer system. Smaller farmers in counties like Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Galway and Mayo which currently have the lowest per hectare entitlement gaining under the Commissioner’s proposals.

“However our own Minister Simon Coveney is clearly fighting this plan in a bird to support ‘Big Business Agriculture’.  His stance, if successful, will see farmers with low payments sacrificing themselves to support farmers in the east of the country with big payments.

“I am calling on the Minister to step back and listen to the views of smaller farmers, who can, if supported, play a vital role in developing our Agri-Food Economy.”

ENDS

Note to Editors

Table attached of the payments per county.

Senator Ó Domhnaill will host two Agriculture & CAP Information meetings over the next few weeks:

1.        Ozanam Centre, Dunfanaghy, County Donegal – Thursday 15 November, 8.30pm
2.        Highlands Hote, Glenties, County Donegal -  Thursday 29 November, 8.00pm

Posted: Nov 7, 2012     |     Categories: Uncategorized