We have a CAP policy where environmental sustainability is considered almost its sole focus, IFA deputy president Alice Doyle said at the EPP conference in Carlow on Friday.

Very little, if any consideration, has been given to the other two legs of the stool of social and economic sustainability, she argued.

The most environmentally sustainable business cannot survive in the medium term if it is not profitable, Doyle maintained.

“CAP, in its early stages, was very much focused on both food security and income, but today that has changed. Today, farmers are expected to produce cheap food with less support as the CAP budget is moving to support environmental change rather than food production,” she said.