The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, today announced the commencement of a public consultation on the draft Environmental Report on the draft CAP Strategic Plan for the period 2023-2027. The consultation will run for a 30-day period period, from 8 November 2021 to 8 December 2021.
Following a presentation by his Department earlier today of the draft Environmental Report to the CAP Stakeholder Consultative Committee, the Minister said:
“I acknowledge again the invaluable contribution of all stakeholders, through the work of the CAP Consultative Committee to date and in other fora, to the development of the proposed CAP Strategic Plan for the period 2023-2027. This continuing commitment, combined with the Government’s own commitment in the form of the unprecedented national co-funding of the Plan which will bring overall expenditure to almost €10 billion over the period, exemplifies the shared endeavour we have been engaged in to support the development of the sector in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way.”
This period of public consultation provides stakeholders and all citizens with a further opportunity to express their views on the draft CAP Strategic Plan along with the draft Environmental Report, including the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and an Appropriate Assessment (AA). The Report examines the potential environmental impacts of the Plan, both positive and negative, and, where potential threats are identified, outlines key mitigation measures and recommendations.
The Minister further commented: “I promised to bring this CAP to the farmers of Ireland through a deep and wide consultation process and I believe that has been the case. I have been listening to the views of stakeholders over the past few months and most recently at the mart meetings, and I have made changes to the draft plan where possible. I have changed our approach to the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme. While the number of suckler cows a farmer can be paid on as part of the intervention will still be based on a reference year, there will be flexibility for farmers to increase the number of animals on their farm outside of the intervention.
"Based off successful pilots in 2021, I have decided to programme the Straw Incorporation Measure for the full five years of the next CAP programme, offering an additional intervention designed to support the tillage sector. I have likewise programmed the Collaborative Farming Grant for the full period, offering surety that farmers can avail of that support up to at least 2027 under the CSP.”
A number of other changes have been made to the draft CSP, including additional support for generational renewal and for women in farming in both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 elements, and other improvements in the light of stakeholder feedback.
The Minister said: “My officials will continue to work on the Plan over the coming weeks in order to fully take account of the recently announced Climate Action Plan 2021, as well as stakeholder feedback on the draft plan and the environmental report as a matter of urgency in order to meet the statutory deadline of 1st January 2022.”
Members of the public and stakeholders may make submissions in two ways:
- A digital questionnaire will be available from the afternoon of 8th November. The link will shortly be made available on http://www.gov.ie/cap/
- Written submissions can be made by email to CAPStrategicPlan@agriculture.gov.ie
or by post to:
CAP Rural Development Division,
Submissions should be marked: ‘draft Environmental Report’
Notes for editors
Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) for the period 2023-2027 will underpin the sustainable development of our farming and food sector by supporting viable farm incomes and enhancing competitiveness, by strengthening the socio-economic fabric of rural areas, and by contributing to the achievement of environmental and climate objectives at national and EU levels.
The new CSP will represent a change in the approach to CAP planning and implementation compared to previous programming periods. Instead of the familiar compliance-based approach, a new performance-based model will be adopted. This will be underpinned by a ‘New Delivery Model’, under which Member States’ performance will be judged on outputs and results, and on how their CSPs contribute to CAP objectives at EU level. The CSP will also take a more holistic approach, incorporating interventions under both Pillar I (Direct Payments and Sectoral Interventions) and Pillar II (Rural Development) into one overall plan.
The launch of the public consultation on the draft Environmental Report of the CAP Strategic Plan is a very important next step in the development of Ireland’s Plan. Feedback has been garnered through two previous public consultations in 2021, including a public consultation on proposed interventions that was conducted in August and September of this year. Additionally, the Minister has conducted a series of public mart meetings across every county in Ireland, affording farmers in every sector and in every region to voice their questions on the CAP Strategic Plan in person. Alongside the vital work of the CAP Consultative Committee, these engagements have resulted in a number of changes to the draft CAP Strategic Plan, which are outlined in detail in the documents accompanying the Environmental Report.
In line with evolving societal needs and demands, Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan will have a particularly strong emphasis on the achievement of a higher level of climate and environment ambition. It will contain measures that will help to achieve significant improvements in the areas of biodiversity and water quality, as well as contributing to national and EU climate and environmental targets, including through increased sequestration and carbon removal. In this regard, the Department has been working in close collaboration with other government departments and agencies, and external actors, to maximise the achievement of climate and environmental objectives through the CSP.
Specifically, Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan will have a new “Green Architecture” to achieve this environmental ambition, which will have 3 main elements:
- a baseline level of climate ambition will be achieved through Conditionality requirements that all farmers receiving direct payments must meet;
- a new Eco-Scheme will be open to all active farmers and will carry a financial allocation of 25% of total Direct Payments funding (approximately €297 million per annum);
- Ambitious, environmentally-focussed Pillar II interventions that will deliver significant long-term environmental improvement through participation by a large number of farmers, with each participant making a strong contribution to the national ambition on their farm, and taking on board the learnings from, for example, locally-led European Innovation Partnership projects.
The CAP Strategic Plan Regulation contains a number of particular requirements for all EU Member States, and a number of elements that are open to decision at national level. Having consulted widely, the following changes have been included in the latest CSP draft:
- The definition of the Active Farmer has been updated.
- The section on Conditionality now better reflects the final political agreement.
- CRISS will be implemented with a financial allocation of 10% of the Direct Payments envelope, paid on the first 30 hectares of all farms at a rate of approx. €43 per hectare.
- Eco-schemes will be implemented with a financial allocation of 25% of the Direct Payments envelope.
- Capping will be implemented to the maximum extent possible, giving an effective cap on payments of €66,000.
- Convergence will proceed to 85% of the national average entitlement value for all entitlements by 2026.
- Financial Allocations have been announced for all nationally co-financed elements of the CAP Strategic Plan.
- The proposed restriction preventing any increase in the suckler cow herd size for the participants in the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme has been removed.
- The proposed eligibility requirement for beneficiaries of the Sheep Improvement Scheme to be participants in a Bord Bia Sustainable Lamb Assurance Scheme has been removed.
- The Pillar 2 intervention to support early-stage Producer Organisations has been expanded to allow support to an increased variety of sectors.
- In the On-farm Capital Investment intervention, it is proposed that a higher investment rate of 60% will be offered to qualified young farmers and qualified female farmers to support generational renewal and gender balance.
- Two new interventions have been designed and included:
- Straw Incorporation Measure, building on the successful pilot scheme and programming it for the entire future CAP period to encourage tillage farmers to increase soil organic carbon levels by chopping and incorporating straw from cereal crops and oilseed rape.
- Collaborative Farming Grant, to build on the current Collaborative Farming Grant by providing a parallel support for older farmers to access a similar type of support to encourage succession planning and facilitate generational renewal.
To ensure that maximum stakeholder input is received at this stage of the CSP design process, there are two means of engagement that stakeholders can participate in:
- A survey which allows space for responses on each of the consultation’s documents.
- Broader written responses may be submitted to CAPStrategicPlan@agriculture.gov.ie
The responses received through the public consultation will be reported to the external evaluators and fed into the final Environmental Report as appropriate. Following approval of the CSP by the European Commission in 2022, a Summary document outlining changes incorporated into both the final Environmental Report and the final CAP Strategic Plan will be produced by the external evaluators and published on the Department website. The final plan will be submitted for Government approval in December before submission to the EU Commission by 1 January 2022. The Commission has 6/8 months to approve the plan, which will then commence on 1 January 2023. More information is available at www.gov.ie/CAP.
Indicative Allocation per intervention
Table 1: Indicative allocation of Funding for Ireland’s 2023-2027 CSP by interventions
Basic Income Support for Sustainability
Complementary income support for young farmers (CIS-YF)
Complementary redistributive income support for sustainability (CRISS)
Sectoral Intervention for the Apiculture sector
Sectoral Intervention in the Fruit and Vegetable Sector
Total Pillar 1
Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC)
Agri-environment climate measure (AECM)
Straw Incorporation Measure
On farm investments*
Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme incl training
Early Stage Support for Producer Organisations
Continuous Professional Development for Advisors
European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs)
Knowledge Transfer Groups
Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme
Sheep Improvement Scheme
Collaborative Farming Grant
Total Pillar 2
Total CSP 2023-2027
Note: Rounded values
* €340m is also available for farm investments through the transitional RDP in the period 2021-2025