Fine Gael Kildare South TD, Martin Heydon, has today (Friday) welcomed the agreement reached by Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney TD, on the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which represents another step forward in the process to return to Sugar Production in Ireland.

“The current proposals if accepted, would see an end to the current sugar quota regime in 2017 which would allow Countries like Ireland to return to production.  Minister Coveney faced huge opposition from many EU countries still producing sugar who wanted the current quota regime to continue to 2020 with no new entrants.

“This is a major win for the Irish presidency and now gives all involved in the Irish Beet industry a date to fight for as the negotiations move to the trilogue phase.

“The new CAP proposals brokered by Minister Coveney this week represent a positive result for farmers in Kildare. The agriculture ministers endorsed the principle of flexibility in the way in which direct payments are to be distributed within Member States. This is known here as internal convergence. This had been the outstanding issue in the negotiations from an Irish perspective.
“There is enormous economic and social value in keeping productive farmers at all levels of production on the land. Agricultural incomes make an important contribution to the local economy. Famers purchase goods and services and provide employment in local communities.  For these reasons, among others, agricultural incomes across the spectrum must be supported.

“I would like to congratulate the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, on gaining acceptance for the package of proposals put forward by the Irish Presidency. The proposals were agreed following protracted negotiations resulting in a general approach on reforms to CAP. Minister Coveney will now take these proposals to the co-decision process with the European Parliament and the Commission.”