The EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan had plenty of people sitting up to take note of what he had to say in the Future of Food and Farming programme leading up to the adoption of the new Common Agricultural Policy in 2020.
A proposal to introduce simpler rules and more flexible approaches whilst retaining the twin pillar structure was certainly a breath of fresh air for many and the intention to produce ‘future-proof’ policies is another desirable ambition.
In bidding a solid welcome for the publication of the Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme, the chairman of the ICMSA Farm and Rural Affairs Committee Pat Rohan says that there are no reasons why dairy farming practice and having excellent water quality are matters that in any way conflict with one another.
As long as a fully ‘collaborative approach’ based upon the guiding principle in future schemes and initiatives adhere to full consultation and equal standards for all elements, “it is perfectly possible to have and maintain both” the Annascaul farmer said. In the past, there has been a view in certain quarters that farmers create “some kind of obstacle in the way of environmental considerations,” he added.