Yellow Card system for over-declaring land takes pressure off farmers – Deering

28th January, 2016

Fine Gael TD, for Carlow/Kilkenny, Pat Deering, has welcomed the introduction by European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, of a yellow card system for the over declaration of land, saying it will take pressure off farmers and reduce penalties for non-compliance.

“Over a year and a half ago I called for the introduction of a Yellow Card system for the over declaration of farm lands, so that minor discrepancies could be noted under a warning system and the farmer be given time and assistance to address any issues that occur.

“I argued that this would allow farmers the opportunity to correct any minor issues quickly and without immediately losing any of their EU direct payment in the case of a first offence, provided it’s minor and not intentional.

“A fairer method of addressing minor discrepancies arising from farm inspections would be to issue a ‘Yellow Card’. If the non-compliance is persistent or of a serious nature then of course a ‘Red Card’ should be issued and should carry financial sanctions in accordance with the severity of the offence.

“I am delighted that Commissioner Hogan has introduced this yellow card system now, which will take pressure off farmers and will reduce penalties for non-compliance by giving farmers the chance to correct any discrepancies.

“Direct payments are a vital income for farm families in Ireland and any threat to them, affects the whole economy as well as the individual farm families involved. This Yellow Card system reduces uncertainty, and allows farmers to plan better, safe in the knowledge that they would not risk their farm payment over a minor discrepancy.”