Over the past few weeks farmers were given the opportunity to have their say in a full, nationwide consultation process concerning the recent CAP agreement.
During this process a few issues cropped up. These were:
- During the on-line meetings farmers felt that their various questions concerning their future under the new CAP agreement were not properly addressed by the government representatives and agricultural organisations present.
- Another problem was that questions had to be submitted more than a week before the meeting. This was frustrating for the farmers, as, on the day, concerns were not discussed.
- The deadline for submissions concerning the CAP agreement has been extended by two weeks, as the general reaction among the agri-community has been very slow. It is a good and rare opportunity to have their say, and they should take the chance presented.
The winners in the CAP agreement are small and medium farmers who farm in an environmentally responsible way. The losers will be larger farmers, armchair farmers, multimillionaires and large corporations that previously had bought up land to avail of large grants.
The large suckler herds will face both the reduction in grants and the cull in beef herds. The large dairy concerns will be affected by the drastic cut in nitrate use.
Now, while this country plans nothing but cuts, Brazil plans to expand its cattle numbers to a massive 24 million head by 2030. The latest surge has come at a massive cost to the environment. Recent deforestation levels are a calamity; in 2020 the destruction of the Amazon hit a twelve-year record, with an area of a combined size of Cos. Mayo and Galway being completely destroyed to create more cattle ranches and farms.
Reducing the Irish beef herd will not solve the global climate crisis, considering that South America and Asia are producing with no heed of any restrictions, and when you have massive corporations avoiding penalties by buying credits from less-polluting companies. This, taken together with the destruction of the rainforests, means that you have the eradication of the Amazonian indigenous people. The lack of TB and brucellosis testing is a serious health hazard to us all. And the problem of climate change will not be solved while there are billions in profit to be made, and the destruction of our world becomes a sad fact of life.