The calls were made in advance of todays CAP conference in Brussels by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association President Mr. John Comer.
He also made the call for the replacement of the UK’s contributions to the Irish market in anticipation of Brexit.
Mr. Comer said that although people are encouraged by the resurgence within the EU that a sense of unity is needed which could be shown by retaining CAP funds in full.
He said that these payments will continue to help the production of high quality food for EU consumers.
He added that he is waiting to hear dozens of contributions about the do’s and don’ts of the CAP, though he said it is all reliant on an adequate CAP budget being available.
He said the CAP is now in the spotlight because of EU budget cuts which have resulted from Brexit.
He said Ireland’s general position on this is for the retention of CAP with cuts, and he insisted this message be put across to our EU counterparts.
He added that CAP has aided in delivering food of the highest standards to millions throughout the EU at affordable prices. This he says was a great achievement by both the EU and farmers.
This achievement he says has to be protected and maintained, and said if this means increasing contributions from all member states including Ireland, then so be it.
He said cutting the CAP budget would only confirm everyone’s fears of Brexit and says it would almost immediately lead to food price inflation.
This he says would have political and economic implications and would accelerate the problem of rural depopulation.
He said that although there is a “valid argument” behind the EU’s plans, that it is clear the benefits of the fully funded CAP, and says it is needed.
He concluded by saying “. If keeping a proper CAP means increasing the remaining Member States contributions then Ireland must demand that is what happens”.