13 MARCH 2018
ICSA president Patrick Kent has called on the Data Protection Commissioner to investigate if the reported IFA levies proposal is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant. “I am extremely concerned at the potential breach of farmers’ privacy rights under GDPR and data protection rules posed by proposals that meat factories would supply information about their suppliers to IFA.
“Levies are voluntary and many farmers have extreme misgivings about the method of taking money off them without their prior consent. At a very minimum, levies should only be collected from those who have opted in. However, this new proposal to force farmers to sign a no-levies document which will then become a blacklist sent to IFA is outrageous.
“My legal advice is that levies should only ever be deducted on an opt-in basis. There is no way that a farmer can be compelled to sign an opt-out of levies form in respect of livestock or produce supplied to a mart or processor, when it is clear that such confidential information will then be forwarded to IFA.”
“It is highly likely that this will end up being the subject of a claim to the Data Protection Commissioner. However, it is unacceptable that any farmer who objects will be confronted by the might of a meat factory which in turn has the comfort of being indemnified by IFA. I am therefore calling on the Data Protection Commissioner to proactively investigate what is going on here and explain to all farmers just what their rights are under GDPR.”
ICSA represents its members interests in Ireland and at European level and does not take levies.