October 1st 2014
ICSA president Patrick Kent has emphasised the levy-free status of the association.
“ICSA does not take levies from factories and is primarily funded by member contributions,” said Mr. Kent. “This allows us the freedom to work for what is best for our members regardless of whether or not our policies are agreeable to meat factories and retailers. Our call for a regulator for the meat industry might not be palatable to other interests, but we firmly believe that such a regulator would be in the best interests of farmers and the credibility of the industry as a whole.”
“ICSA’s independent position is also clearly evident in our campaign threatening to withdraw from the Quality Assurance Scheme. Our priority is always the best interests of the farmers we represent, but we also feel that consumers are being duped by the manipulation of the scheme. For example, Bord Bia goes to great lengths to promote Ireland’s grass-fed beef systems, but the current specs imposed by factories are threatening these systems by forcing farmers to fatten cattle on meal. ICSA has no vested interest in promoting intensive, low-profit high-animal-turnover farming systems.”