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EU Matters.ie - Information about Ireland's membership of the EU

Farmers & Agri-Business

Irish farming and agriculture is mainly influenced by the EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). It isn’t the jazziest of titles, but it’s an important policy and it’s one of the foundations of the EU. It’s aimed at making sure that there’s a successful farming sector throughout Europe, capable of delivering safe food for all the Union's citizens.

Pat Higgins of the Queally Group speaks about the the advantages of EU membership for agriculture in providing a competitive platform and access to a larger stable market for Irish produce.

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Farmers’ contribution to the Irish economy is still hugely significant, and despite the many changes over the years in the industry, farming is still a very significant part of Irish life. EU membership has increased farmers’ incomes and transformed living standards to the benefit of farming, the food industry and the wider rural community.

From 2007 to 2013 our farmers will receive another €12 billion under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Society at large has also benefited in the form of a better environment, higher levels of food safety, additional employment in food processing and a positive contribution to our balance of payments (we sell more than we buy).

As a nation that must export over 80% of everything we produce, EU membership has provided Ireland with a huge barrier-free internal market of half-a-billion consumers across Europe.

80% of our dairy exports and 98% of Irish beef exports go to other countries in the EU.