The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association have met with Minister Coveney, EU Commission Officials and a number of MEP’s to press for change on GLAS and the Beef Data & Genomics Program (BDGP).
INHFA National Chair Brendan O’Malley stated that “We are hopeful Minister Coveney will make changes to the Commonage Management Plans (CMP’s) that should make them more workable for farmers and planners.”
In the last week INHFA representatives traveled to Brussels to meet Irish MEP’s and EU Commission Officials on GLAS and the BDGP. Mr O’Malley outlined how “The commission officials were very clear when stating that most of our issues could be sorted in Dublin and flexibility on GLAS was there especially in relation to the min/max figures on the CMP’s.”
The meeting in Brussels had been preceded by a meeting with Minister Coveney and Department of Agriculture officials. At this meeting the INHFA delegation pressed for change on the CMP and the BDGP.
In relation to the CMP, change was sought specifically on the need to include all stock grazing each commonage and to get flexibility on the min/max figures in order to protect stable flocks.
With regard to the BDGP, many of the 39,000 farmers with 10 or less cows have decided not to apply. For those that have applied many are now reconsidering their application and changes especially on the penalties and the star rating targets will have to be made.
The Minister did indicate that INHFA proposals will get serious consideration. Mr O’Malley concluded by stating that “The changes outlined since this meeting on the BDGP are to be welcomed but need to go further. In relation to the CMP’s we remain confident important changes will be made.”