On a visit to Tipperary this morning, the Minister for Agriculture assured farmers that they would be at the centre of the new CAP deal.
Speaking at Cahir Mart, Minister Charlie McConalogue said that agriculture is unique in that it is the biggest employer and biggest exporter.
He said that the core objective of the agri sector is to produce food and to do so while reducing the carbon footprint.
There was a mixed reception from an IFA delegation and local farmers, who felt they were being left behind in many ways and wanted to ensure protection for the farmers of the future.
The ministerial visit was welcomed, but the farmers wanted to ensure that the open dialogue continues.
“It happens once every seven years, it’s important that you get it right when you’re actually doing it.
“That’s why, in terms of agreeing the CAP plan at European level, I fought very hard to ensure we would get to make a lot of the important decisions ourselves at national level and we’d have the flexibility and capacity to do that.
“It’s also why, over the next number of weeks and months, that I’ll be engaging with farmers quite closely, right across the country, in relation to how the next CAP will look and in relation to putting in place a national CAP plan, which will serve the agricultural sector and farm families well.”
He added that this consultation will be central to framing the next CAP.
Minister McConalogue said he would like to see Ireland as a world leader in how food is produced in a sustainable way.