Monday, 14 April, 2014

The President of the UFU, Harry Sinclair, has described the SDLP’s recently announced position on CAP Reform as ‘unbelievable’.  Speaking after the SDLP announcement Harry Sinclair said: “I recently challenged our local politicians and administrators to look to the future when it came to implementing the reformed Common Agricultural Policy to ensure that Northern Ireland’s agrifood industry is not left languishing in the wake of our forward thinking neighbours. I am therefore both extremely surprised and very disappointed that one of our main political parties is calling for a system that will seriously jeopardise the future of this industry which has very significant plans to help grow the NI economy over the next few years”.

Harry Sinclair continued: “In particular, all EU Member States and MEPs fought very hard with the EU Commission to win the flexibility to have a more managed transition to a flat rate payment system on the basis that farmers needed time to adjust and adapt to these very considerable changes.  It is therefore totally unbelievable that the SDLP has settled on a four-year transitionary period and with the EU’s Single Farm Payment accounting for 87% of the Total Income from Farming in Northern Ireland last year, it unfortunately clearly demonstrates that the SDLP understand so very little about what farmers really need”.
“We had hoped and expected that our politicians would have s

upported NI’s agrifood industry to develop and grow so that we could compete on the new and emerging world markets and generate revenue from exports which would help the local economy.  Instead we have one of our main political parties clearly showing that they are not up to this task”.