Maximum CAP support needed for productive sectors – Smith

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has stressed the need to continue maximum support of CAP for the beef, sheep, dairy and tillage sectors.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “The Common Agricultural Policy has been of huge importance to our farming and agrifood sector, to the rural economy and to the overall national economy. Thankfully we have record levels of drink and food exports today and they are critical to the creation and maintenance of employment throughout the country.”

Raising this issue with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin during Parliamentary Questions, Deputy Smith stressed that it is important when finalising the Common Agricultural Policy, we take cognisance of what has worked for the Irish farming and agrifood sector over the years.

The Deputy said, “I have said for many years that there has been a lazy and at times ill-informed narrative on farming and its importance, as well as its contribution to environmental standards. Our farmers work to extremely high and demanding standards, and rightly so, both from an environmental point of view and also from the point of view of farming practices, as do our processing sectors. The necessary support that has been provided over the years must continue.”

An Taoiseach, in response to Deputy Brendan Smith, emphasised the importance of food security and Ireland’s carbon efficient production system.

An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, stated, “The Deputy is right about the need to do everything we possibly can to focus on what works and on food security in particular, which will remain a big challenge globally. That must be reconciled with the climate issues. Food security is still important and Ireland is probably one of the most carbon efficient production systems in Europe, both in dairy and beef. That should not be forgotten.”