A delegation of 30 Macra members from across the country recently visited Brussels on an educational and lobby trip to attended meetings and talks on issues effecting young farmers with European officials and MEPs.
The group met officials from DG agriculture and discussed a range of topics including: The Health Check and the CAP after 2013; Climate change; the challenges for EU agriculture; EU milk policy after the Health Check; and Food labelling and the Pesticides directive. The group actively engaged and debated with EU officials and emphasized the particular issues faced by young Irish farmers.
Members also attend a meeting of the Committee on Agricultural and Rural Development and met with both Irish and non-Irish MEPs including Colm Burke, Kathy Sinnott, Marian Harkin, Mairead McGuinness, Jim Higgins and Sean O’Neachtain. Among the topics raised by the Macra delegation were the issue of farming by dates especially for slurry spreading and ploughing which are ludicrous and need to be addressed. They also raised the issue of the timeframe for lifting the suspension on Young Farmer Installation Aid under EU rules.