Protecting farmers’ interests at core of Fine Gael’s plans - Phelan

Protecting farmers’ interests will be a key priority under a Fine Gael government, according to Junior Minister, John Paul Phelan, TD.

Kilkenny People Reporter

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Minister John Paul Phelan

Minister John Paul Phelan

Protecting farmers’ interests - including the safeguarding of incomes against the real threat posed by Brexit - will be a key priority under a Fine Gael government, according to Junior Minister, John Paul Phelan, TD.

Fine Gael will establish a new regulator to police unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain, according to Minister Phelan who grew up on a farm in Tullogher.

“A Fine Gael government will negotiate a strong Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget with a particular emphasis on supporting younger farmers,” he said.

“In addition, Fine Gael will fully support the beef sector through the implementation of the beef sector agreement.

“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD, set out Fine Gael’s ambitious plans for Irish agriculture at an event in Fermoy, Co Cork.”

Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach said: “We know our farmers and our Agri-food sector will the hardest hit by Brexit. We negotiated the best possible Brexit deal for Ireland to protect Ireland from a catastrophic no deal scenario.

“But Brexit isn’t finished, it’s only at half time. The next phase - negotiating a trade deal - will be absolutely crucial for farmers. I’m asking farmers to stick with the Fine Gael team - with our track record and relationships in Europe - to deliver that deal.

“Securing a new CAP budget that delivers for Irish farmers will also be vital. Fine Gael negotiated €12bn for Irish farmers in the last CAP. We will stand up for Irish farmers and safeguard incomes during the crucial negotiation period ahead.”