Healy said that to continue with a strong, sustainable and competitive sector, that an increase in the CAP budget is required.
This was his message during recent discussions of the future of the EU budget, strengthening current common policies (CAP), which he says are vital in securing a strong future for the EU.
He added that this will demonstrate the positives of being an EU member to citizens.
He said there is a long road of negotiations ahead, "There is a tough negotiating road ahead but with an Irish Commissioner in place who understands agriculture and a Government that is aware of the importance of agriculture to the Irish economy, this fight is far from over."
He said that low farm incomes must now be recognised as a big problem, “It must be recognised that low farm incomes remain a major challenge. Cuts to the CAP budget have undermined the effectiveness of this Common Policy and its ability to provide a fair standard of living for producers, who are meeting high regulatory standards in the areas of food safety, animal health, welfare and the environment, “.
IFA President said that the departure of the UK from the EU would most likely pose some serious challenges, as the UK is a net contributor to the overall EU budget.
He said, “At these meetings we stressed that reductions in the CAP budget as a result of Brexit must be resisted. The CAP has served European consumers well by guaranteeing a regular supply of safe food produced to high environmental and welfare standards at affordable prices,” .
Healy pointed to the Teagasc run survey into the possible implications of Brexit, and says the survey proved the disastrous effects reducingf payments would have.
He concluded, “Teagasc has conducted a preliminary study into the implications of Brexit, incorporating a potential 10% cut in CAP payments and reduced product prices. The research demonstrated that this scenario would reduce incomes across all farm enterprise types, including a drop of 37% on average for Ireland’s 80,000 beef farms. This would be a devastating outcome and simply cannot be allowed to happen,” .
The current CAP runs to 2020 but the process to review the policy has commenced, with an open consultation in early 2017, the results of which will be discussed at a conference in Brussels on July 7th.