A press article published today in the Northern Ireland papers has promted DARD to make a response.
A DARD spokesperson said, “It gives an inaccurate and highly misleading representation of the DARD’s position on CAP reform.
“It states that DARD is making proposals to the EU Commission which would see Single Farm Payments to dairy farmers cut by a third. DARD has made no such proposal.
“The true position is that DARD has responded in detail to the content of the EU Commission’s Communication on CAP Reform.
“This response was developed following a public consultation with stakeholders and was published in full on the DARD website on 24th March 2011 (and announced by press release on that same day). Stakeholders were also briefed in detail on the content of this response in advance of its presentation to the EU Commission. DARD’s overall position has been welcomed by the Ulster Farmers Union.
“The key themes advocated by DARD in its response to the EU Commission are (i) a well funded CAP, (ii) a flexible CAP and (iii) a simplified CAP. Flexibility would allow DARD, in conjunction with stakeholders, to take local decisions which suited local conditions. Therefore, important issues, such support being confined to active farmers, would be debated and decided in the north of Ireland rather than in Brussels, and could take full account of the need for simplification. It is highly disappointing that the analysis being offered by the Department to inform the coming debate is being misrepresented to create unnecessary confusion and concern.”