FARMERS JOURNAL – 18 AUGUST 2016
Following the row between ABP and the IFA over the collection of the EIF levy, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has renewed its calls for all farmer levies to be re-examined.
“Farmers are under severe income pressure and deductions from factory cheques add up to a considerable sum,” ICSA president Patrick Kent said in a statement on Thursday. “Overall, we are talking about tens of millions of euros taken from farmers at a time when the farmer is the only one making nothing out of the agri-food sector.”
Kent questioned the legality of the EIF levy, which is collected by most milk, grain and livestock processors from farmers unless they request to opt out.
He also called for a review of statutory levies such as the one funding Bord Bia. “Why should farmers pay for marketing a product that they do not own? No other industry operates on this basis, so how come we are stuck with these bills?” he asked.
The ICSA is calling for a review to examine the justification, fairness and value for money of all levies.
Kent added that the ICSA receives no funding from any levies.