Mairead McGuinness MEP and first Vice-President of the European Parliament hosted a delegation from Macra na Feirme at the European People’s Party (EPP) Young Farmers Congress in Brussels on Thursday.
In its 5th year, gathers young farmers from across Member States to discuss agricultural production in the EU, exchanging views on both common practices and those that differ.
McGuinness said the meeting of young farmers is timely given the upcoming reforms of the CAP.
“It’s very important for the young farmers to hear the vision of the Parliament’s draftsperson on CAP reform, Ms Esther Herranz Garcia. Of particular interest were her views on generational renewal.
“The young farmers also had the opportunity to discuss their role in the debate on the future of Europe, which is particularly relevant for Europe’s rural regions,” McGuinness added.
The delegation also met with MEPs on the Agriculture committee, and highlighted how the CAP assists farmers of all ages in Ireland.
McGuinness said that Brexit will see a member state leave the EU, which may have implications for the food supply chain to the UK and from the EU to the UK.
“High standards in farming, environment and food safety are central to EU policy. And it is to be hoped that the UK will stick to these leading standards post Brexit in order for trade flows to continue post Brexit.
“I also hope that young EU farmers will maintain strong links with their UK counterparts – farmers share the same concerns and this will remain the case when the UK leaves,” she said.
The MEP stressed the significance of having young farmers from across Europe in the European Parliament. She said this event encompasses what the European project is all about – sharing and learning from each other.
The delegation consisted of 2018 FBD Young farmer of the year, Daniel Hawthorne from Monaghan, 2018 FBD Young Sheep farmer winner Luna Orofiamma from Cavan, Offaly beef farmer Michael Kenny, Meath beef farmer Eamon Cassels and Westmeath beef farmer Karen Elliffe.