The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association has welcomed the decision reached by the Agriculture & Rural Development Committee of the European Parliament that calls for full convergence (flattening) of the Pillar 1 payments in the upcoming CAP Program.
In welcoming the decision National President Colm O’Donnell stated “how the INHFA position is for full flattening of payments through the new CAP with the re-distributive payment being used to front-load payments on the first number of hectares.” Both of these options he continued “are now possible as the Parliament Committee has also agreed to use 5% of Pillar 1 payments for the re-distributive payment model.”
Provided both of these options remain in place following the final decision of Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Ministers, we will he added “be able to ensure fairness for all, while protecting farmers with higher entitlements but on a low land base through the re-distributive or front loaded model.” O’Donnell also pointed to the need of ensuring the re-distributive payment delivers for small holders insisting that “an overall cap on payments at €60,000 would also be critical in ensuring additional money for this payment model.”
In relation to the new Eco-Scheme O’Donnell stated “how the proposal to use 20% of the Pillar 1 payments for this scheme is what we were expecting following recent meetings in Brussels. What is important now is that the scheme is workable and fair for all farmers with a payment model that provides equality for outputs and work done, unlike what we currently have in the Greening payment.” In concluding it is he stated “critical that this Eco payment doesn’t undermine any new Agri–environmental scheme in Pillar 2 through restricted access or by taking on measures currently delivered through our present Agri-environmental scheme GLAS.”