27 SEPTEMBER 2017
ICSA has called for an immediate increase in ANC payments at a meeting with Minister Michael Creed in Dublin today. Following the meeting ICSA president Patrick Kent said: “The restoration of ANC payments must be a priority in the short term and in the longer term we need to demand full funding of the CAP post Brexit.”
ICSA has also demanded an extension to the slurry spreading deadline. “With the weather set to remain difficult for the coming days there is a real crisis emerging on many farms that still have slurry to get out. The closing date of 15 October is completely unworkable. At this stage, the last thing we want to see is panic spreading of slurry in the coming days in wet conditions.”
Regarding Brexit ICSA is calling for a fully funded CAP whatever the outcome of Brexit talks. ICSA wants to see trade issues being discussed as soon as possible .”We see positives in the statement from the UK Prime Minister with her reference to a two year transition period. We need to keep tariff free access to UK markets as a key objective and the longer we can maintain normality the better.”
ICSA also insisted that Ireland must take a very strong stand against any concessions on beef in the Mercosur trade talks. “It is inconceivable that any beef would be allowed in under a tariff rate quota at a time when our markets are in a state of complete flux due to Brexit uncertainty. We also made a very strong case that it would be intolerable to allow more Brazilian beef in after the scandal of adulterated meat from Brazil earlier this year. The CETA agreement has already done a lot of damage to the beef sector.”
ICSA has also called for reopening of the organics scheme. “We need to do much better in developing high value export markets for beef and lamb. However, we need more critical mass in terms of farmers who are certified organic but the current closure of the organics scheme is a real setback for the sector.”
ICSA also emphasised to the Minister the importance of payment on time this year on all schemes.
The ICSA delegation consisted of ICSA president Patrick Kent, general secretary Eddie Punch, beef chair Edmond Phelan, sheep chair John Brooks and rural development chair Seamus Sherlock.