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Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

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 192.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  the degree to which he and his EU colleagues can ensure the future viability of family farms throughout Ireland and the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7454/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Food Harvest 2020 (FH2020) represents the strategic blueprint for the development of the agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry sector for the next decade. Its implementation, as well as the parallel negotiations at EU level to ensure an appropriate CAP policy and EU Budget framework post 2013, are the strategic steps which I am pursuing to develop the agri-food sector. FH2020 contained more than 200 recommendations specifically directed at improving farm level viability including restructuring, competitiveness and knowledge transfer. Details of progress made on these and the 215 recommendations are contained in the Annex to Food Harvest [191]2020 Milestones for Success on my Department’s web-site; see page 3 of attached web link 260711.pdf.

At European level, the future shape of the Common Agricultural Policy will be a key driver for the continued viability of family farms. In this respect note that the EU Commission’s proposals for reform of the CAP are predicated on the principles of ensuring viable food production, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action as well as balanced territorial development. There is good support among my colleagues in the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers for these objectives and I believe it is expected that, notwithstanding differences about the details, future EU agricultural policy should recognise and reward the important contribution of the agri-food sector to economic recovery and growth and to sustainable development.

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