The ICSA is passionate about the advancement and development of beef, sheep and suckler farmers across Ireland.  We have an excellent track record for bringing about fundamental changes in legislation over the past number of years – one of ICSA’s biggest successes was the abolition of the coupled payments system for farm subsidies.

Information on how to join ICSA can be found here.  


Profitability & Sustainability

• Calling for strategies and schemes which deliver measurable improvements to profitability on Irish drystock farms
• Working to ensure the long-term sustainability of beef, suckler and sheep farms which are the backbone of Ireland’s rural economy


ICSA is calling for an EU retail chain regulator with the power to:
• Introduce retail chain transparency
• Investigate and audit who makes what margins from our produce
• Penalise retailers who take excessive margins

ICSA wants national regulation of the processing sector
• Adjudicate on justification for spurious age & weight limits for cattle & sheep
• Prevent abuse of the QA scheme
• Ensure there are no cartels in the meat industry

• Challenging 30 months cut off and low weight limits at every opportunity; demanding beef grid review
• Campaigning for proper scrutiny of meat industry including permanent on-site monitoring of trim & grading


• Protection of our valuable live exports and lobbying for the opening up of new live export markets – ICSA have already delivered the re-establishment of a direct live export route to the UK, departing from Rosslare on Stena Line.
• Demanding that the Government makes the same diplomatic efforts to open up live export markets as has been made for meat exports
• Better bonuses for high quality, suckler herd type beef, in line with what farmers get in those countries where we market our beef
• Challenging all deductions from your factory cheques – ICSA gets no levies
• More rational approach to TB restrictions

• Totally opposed to bad TTIP deal for beef farmers
• Working to solve labelling blockage of live exports to NI and GB


• Better and more targeted funding for the sheep sector, under the Rural Development Programme
• No to EID for lambs destined for the factory

• Removal of bureaucratic blockages of sheep live exports
• A more rational approach to commonage management – no commonage farmer should be refused access to the GLAS scheme due to the decisions of other shareholders. Workable options must be put in place for all active shareholders.

CAP & Direct Payments

• No to unfair LPIS penalties – ICSA firmly believes that no farmer should be penalised for maintaining land that they had previously been told was eligible. ICSA is absolutely opposed to any five-year retrospective penalties. Instigating legal review of overclaim penalties
• Fighting to ensure fair distribution of Pillar 2 funds through the Rural Development Programme to support the drystock sectors.
• Demanding workable GLAS options for Irish farmers. Opposing watering down of low input permanent pasture measure

• Lobbying for a better RD programme which delivers money to farmers not professionals; seeking reversal of cuts to disadvantaged areas (ANC)

Farm Inspections and Bord Bia Audits

• Calling for a Yellow card system: Are farmers the only ones not allowed to make mistakes?
• Highlighting the need for 14 days notice for inspections
• Inspections must allow for loss of faulty/worn tags
• Campaigning for prompt resolution of disputed cases

• Demanding a charter for Bord Bia audits and right to re-audit on appeal within 30 days
• Looking for common sense on Bord Bia audit requirements

Young farmers

• Campaigning for targeted, decent payments for active, young farmers under the new CAP
• New opportunities for the next generation of young farmers to get into and expand in dairying, even on farms where this has not been a traditional enterprise

• Justice for old young farmers who have missed out on access to national reserve

Environment & Energy

• Exploring opportunities under alternative energies such as anaerobic digestion
• Prioritising the development of the clean, green image of Ireland as the key to selling more beef and lamb to high-priced, international retail markets

• Involved in climate change debate; farmers are being wrongly targeted on emissions and not getting the credit on sequestration
• Convinced our clean green image is our greatest asset; being seen as pro GM could ruin image of Kerrygold and grass fed beef and lamb exports

Land Owners’ Rights

Fair deal for hen harrier and other designated farmers – every designated hectare must be compensated
• Fighting for fair deals for farmers on pylons and other infrastructure
• Led the opposition to the Galway greenway

Third Level Education

• Fighting against any move to include capital assets in the means test for higher education grants

Helping members with individual problems with Department/banks. Supporting our members with mental health and stress issues.