Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has congratulated Phil Hogan on his appointment as the new EU Commissioner on Agriculture but warned that he faces a huge task in resolving some of the issues that face Irish farming.
He commented: “I would like to congratulate Phil Hogan on his appointment as the EU Agriculture Commissioner. It is very significant that an Irish person has been appointed to this important portfolio, especially considering that 40% of the EU budget goes to agriculture.
“It is now extremely important that Commissioner Hogan put his stamp on the role and ensures an equitable and fair implementation of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) right across the country for all farmers. Commissioner Hogan must also ensure the commonage issue is resolved in relation to CAP and particularly in relation to the GLAS scheme.
“Free trade in beef must also be facilitated and enforced so that artificial barriers to trade between the North and South of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain are eliminated. Commissioner Hogan must make this a priority so the current beef crisis affecting Irish farming can be tackled. The relative power of processers and multiples over farmers is disproportionate and has to be rebalanced across the EU, it is absolutely vital that farmers and primary producers receive a fair price for their product and a fair proportion of what the consumer pays.
“Commissioner Hogan must also seek to adopt a comprehensive rural development plan to ensure the improvement and prosperity of rural Europe and in particular for peripheral countries like Ireland.”