English urges Meath farmers and public to be part of CAP 2020 Consultation Process


Thursday, 25th January 2018

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD,
has announced his intention to launch a public consultation process on
the future of the CAP post 2020, and local Meath West Fine Gael T.D.
and Minister, Damien English, has urged all Meath farmers snd
interested members of the public to get involved and have their say.
Minister English noted that the Agri Food sector in Meath is worth
nearly half a Billion Euro to the local and national economy, and its
future must be safe guarded, especially in a post BREXIT European

A consultation meeting will take place in the Newgrange Hotel on
Tuesday, 13th February, which will be attended by Ministers Creed and
English, and Meath farmers are urged to attend that night between 8pm
and 10pm and have their say on the future of CAP. There will be public
meetings like Navan in other parts of the country also during February

The public meetings are part of a wider consultation process which
will be open for an eight week period from Friday 26th January 2018 to
Friday 23rd March 2018.

This consultation comes against the background of the launch of the
European Commission’s Communication on the future of food and farming
last November 2017. With legislative proposals underpinning the future
CAP expected in June 2018, Irish citizens and farmers will now have an
opportunity to have an input.

Written submissions should be sent by email to
cap_post2020@agriculture.gov.ie or by post to EU Division, Department
of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Floor 6 Centre, Agriculture
House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 marked “Submission on CAP post 2020”.
The deadline for receipt of submissions is 23rd March 2018.

A consultation document and blank submission form will be available on
the Department’s website [from the 26th January 2018] at the following


They will also be available on request from EU Division, telephone
number 01 6072183 or email to cap_post2020@agriculture.gov.ie


English welcomes extension to closing date for submission of 2017 Nitrates Derogation Applications

Farming, Meath, North Meath, Wesmeath

Thursday, 16th March 2016

Local Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal and Fine Gael T.D. for
Meath West, Damien English, has welcomed the news that the Department
of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has this week announced an
extension to the closing date for submission of 2017 Nitrates
Derogation applications.

Minister English said: “The decision to extend the closing date to
Thursday 13th April 2017 was taken in light of the significant
interest in new Derogation applications. I welcome this extra time for
farmers in Meath West.”

Nitrates Derogation applications can only be submitted online using
the Department’s on-line facilities. Farmers not already registered
for agfood.ie can do so by logging onto www.agfood.ie and clicking the
‘Register’ button.

The Nitrates Derogation documentation is available on the Department’s
website at http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/ruralenvironment/environmentalobligations/nitrates/nitratesderogation/2017derogationforms/


Just over €31m paid to Meath farmers under 2016 Basic Payment Scheme – English

Farming, Food, Funding, Meath, Trim, Wesmeath

Monday, 24th October 2016

Fine Gael T.D. for Meath West and local Minister Damien English T.D.
has confirmed that just over €31 million has been paid out to farmers
in Co. Meath under the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme.

“The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has confirmed to me
that €31,098,025 has been paid out to farmers in Meath under the 2016
Basic Payment Scheme. Nationally, payments worth over €714 million
began issuing to in excess of 109,000 farmers last week.

“The Department has received 3,959 applications from Meath farmers
under the Basic Payment Scheme, with 3,354 paid out so far to the tune
of €31,098,025.

“In times of price volatility for farmers, it is crucial that these
payments are issued in the most efficient way possible to farmers here
in Meath who so depend on them. Minister Creed has prioritised the
delivery of these payments at the earliest possible date allowable
under EU legislation and it is good to note also that with the move to
full online application by 2018, the Department of Agriculture will be
able to introduce further efficiencies into the processing of
payments. This will make life a lot easier for farmers here in Meath.

“Minister Creed also confirmed that payments to farmers under the
Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) Scheme also continue to issue as
cases are confirmed for payment. Under the ANC Scheme, €177 million
has now issued to some 82,000 farmers since payments commenced on 20th
September. The advance BPS payment and the ANC payments taken together
mean that over €890M has now issued to Irish farmers in the last
month. Payments under the Young Farmers Scheme and the coupled Protein
Aid will commence in December 2016.

“Advance payments will continue issuing regularly until late November,
with balancing payments to issue from the 1st of December.  Any farmer
with a question in relation to their BPS or ANC payments, can contact
the Department at 076 106 4420. This helpline is running extended
hours- from 17th October to 29th October, farmers can ring the
Department between 9am and 8.30pm on weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on
Saturdays. I encourage any Meath farmer with a query about their
payment to contact this helpline, which is of great support to farm
families around the country.”


Basic Farm Payments of almost €44.5m supporting farmers in Meath – English

Farming, Food, Funding

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation and Fine Gael TD for Meath West, Damien English, has said that Basic Farm Payments of almost €44.5 million paid so far in 2015, are supporting Meath farmers.

“In Meath, 3,483 farmers have received Basic Farm Payments so far in 2015, making up 95.9% of payments. In 2016, €1.2 billion in direct funding will be made available from the EU to fund the Basic Payment Scheme nationally.

“This money is essential to support agriculture and farming families in Meath. Basic Farm Payments are also key to supporting the local economy as farmers can spend this money with local suppliers and in small businesses.

“The food industry in Ireland is worth €26 billion and directly employs 170,000 people. Farmers are at the centre of this and it is essential that we offer every support possible.  For two successive budgets farming agri-taxation measures have played a central part in the Budget.

“Major new initiatives on ‘Family Transfer Partnerships’ have been introduced to assist in the transfer of land. We have also renewed relief measures on general stock income tax; for young trained farmers and registered farm partnerships. Stamp duty exemptions have been maintained on transfers of land to young trained farmers. This Government has also increased the tax free threshold for Capital Acquisitions Tax by about one quarter from €225,000 to €280,000.

“Changes made to the taxation of the self-employed will impact on most farmers who will benefit from the new €550 tax credit and reduced USC rates. These changes will mean over €800 in additional net income.

“In 2016, €494 million has been ring-fenced for the Rural Development Programme, a 12% increase; €195 million for Areas of Natural Constraint (ANCs); €35.8 million for TAMS, €52 million for the Beef Data Genomics Programme and €203 million for Agri–Environment Schemes including GLAS, AEOS  and ORGANICS.

“This Government has prioritised agriculture and makes no apology for that. The agri-food sector has been essential in driving the recovery and is playing a major role as we work to keep the recovery going in Meath and in all parts of the country.”

Minister English welcomes 2nd phase of GLAS scheme

Farming, Food, Funding, Meath, Wesmeath

Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English has welcomed the launch this week of the second tranche of GLAS, the new agri-environmental scheme which replaces REPS and AEOS.

The first tranche of GLAS, which closed on 26 May this year, proved a huge success, attracting almost 27,000 applications. The second tranche will increase this to at least 35,000 and up to 40,000. The overall target for GLAS is to attract 50,000 farmers into the new scheme over its lifetime and Minister English commented that it was clear that GLAS was well on its way to meeting that target.

For the second tranche of GLAS, a number of adjustments to the available actions are being made, and farmers and their advisors are urged to familiarise themselves with them.

Minister English commented: “The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney T.D. has announced that he is publishing the Terms and Conditions for the second Tranche of GLAS immediately, along with the detailed Specification for Tranche 2 actions.  Farmers and their advisors in Meath West should read these carefully.  The live system for applications will then be opened will remain open for some six weeks. I urge Meath and Westmeath farmers to apply. As I have often said before the export value of Agricultural products is worth €493.8m to Meath and €216m to Westmeath. Agriculture is a huge industry locally & it supports thousands of direct & indirect jobs locally. GLAS and other iniatives from this Government help and support this important work by local farmers.”

Minister English meets with IFA in advance of Budget 2016

Farming, Food, Meath, Wesmeath
IFA Briefing for Budget 2016 at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin on Tuesday, 29 September 2015. Photography by Brendan Duffy.

IFA Briefing for Budget 2016 at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin on Tuesday, 29 September 2015.
Photography by Brendan Duffy.

It was great to meet with the IFA locally and nationally today Tuesday 29th September in advance of Budget 2016.

Agriculture, and the wider agri-food sector is a major part of the Meath West economy, but it is often undersold, and under highlighted.

Thousands of jobs in Meath West are supported both on family farms, and in the wider food and drink processing sector.  The value of agri-related exports arising from product in Meath is almost €0.5 Billion.  In Co. Westmeath the value of agri-related exports arising from product in that County is almost €250 million.

This must be supported and encouraged into the future to promote even more local jobs and growth.


Farming, Meath, Wesmeath

€6 million annual saving to farmers in testing costs

Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English has welcomed the ending of pre-movement Brucellosis testing on both sides of the Border with effect from 28th September this year as good news for farmers in Counties Meath and Westmeath.

“Following the effective eradication of Brucellosis on the island, I am delighted that Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and his Northern Irish counterpart have decided to remove the legislative requirement for pre-movement testing for Brucellosis. This is a major landmark in the history of disease eradication in Ireland” Minister English stated.

Following the progressive and incremental removal of compulsory controls over the last number of years, the most recent of which was the ending of Annual Round testing from the beginning of 2015, the cessation of compulsory pre-movement testing means that routine on-farm brucellosis testing will no longer be required in the Irish State.

This, according to the Department of Agriculture, will result in significant savings for livestock farmers in testing costs, estimated at €6m per annum.

€500 million EU aid package will benefit farmers in Meath & Westmeath – Minister English

Farming, Food, Funding, Meath, Wesmeath

Minister Coveney working to negotiate a positive outcome for Irish farmers

Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English has said that a €500 million EU aid package for farmers will be of significant benefit for farmers in Counties Meath and Westmeath.

“The announcement of this €500 million EU aid package is good news for Meath West farmers. We are waiting to find out how much will be allocated to Irish farmers.

“This fund will be used to ensure the provision of a 70% rate of advance payment payable under the direct payment schemes. The package will also enable the introduction of APS (Aids to Private Storage) for cheese and pigmeat, with better conditions for APS for other products and the introduction of additional promotional measures. I also welcome the separate announcement by the European Commission that it will re-engage in discussions with the Russian authorities concerning the restrictions imposed on certain pigmeat products.

“Clarity is now needed on how this €500 million aid package will be disbursed between EU states. We also need to know full details of the measures the European Commission is envisaging to support the market In that respect.

“I welcome the commitment of my colleague the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney to negotiate a positive outcome for Irish farmers. I am glad that the European Commission has addressed most of the points made by Ireland in the six-point plan that Minister Coveney presented to the Commission and the Council last week.

“Fine Gael is standing up for rural Ireland and working hard to spread the fruits of the economic recovery across the country. The Party’s “Standing up for Rural Ireland” is focused on ensuring that the benefits of the economic recovery are felt in every town, village, parish and home across rural Meath and Westmeath.”


Response to the BSE scare in Louth must be proportionate and bear in mind importance of Irish agri-food image


The news of a suspected case of BSE in Co. Louth is indeed worrying. Our first thoughts must be with the farmer concerned and their family at this stressful time as they await a second round of test results next week.

Our response, as politicians, as media, or whatever our role, must however be proportionate and evidence based. Our multi billion export driven agri-food sector, which is of such benefit to Counties like Louth, Meath and Westmeath is, after all, at stake.

Rather than scare mongering, the fact that this suspected case has been detected, and that the animal did not enter the food chain, are important facts to be highlighted and represent the robust nature of the ongoing monitoring systems we have in place which put public health and safety at the centre of all that we do, making Irish beef, and Irish food products generally, so desirable to an international buyer.

This week sees the conclusion of important negotiations between the Department and the main farming organisations on a new Farmers Charter. This again highlights the commitment to standards that underpins the approach taken both by the State and its farmers.

The Charter is an agreement between both parties on improving the standards, delivery targets, protocols and timelines for the Department’s schemes and services, including on-farm inspections, and brings clarity to the arrangements around inspections.

The new Charter will now come into immediate effect and will be published.  It will remain in place until 2020 coinciding with the lifetime of the current Pillar I and Pillar II schemes, and will be overseen by a Monitoring Committee involving both the Department and the main farming organizations.

Beef Genomics Programme deadline extension to benefit farmers in Meath West

Farming, Funding

The extension of the deadline for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme will give more Meath and Westmeath farmers the chance to apply. The new deadline for application to the scheme is Friday 5th June.

Already almost 15,000 farmers have applied for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme. I welcome the extension of the deadline for application to the scheme to Friday 5th of June, which will ensure that Meath and  Westmeath farmers have every possible chance to apply.

I know that some beef farmers had concerns around the flexibility of being in a six year programme. However the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, has highlighted that many farmers have more land than is needed to qualify for the full payment under the scheme and so there won’t be compliance issues if they are to sell off or lease some of their land within the six year time period. Where the land is sold, leased, gifted or willed, the obligations of the scheme will transfer to the new owner.

Farmers with any queries in relation to the scheme should read the Frequently Asked Questions document on the Department of Agriculture’s website, or to contact the Department directly on Lo-call 1890 200 510 or 01 607 2000.