ICSA threatens to oppose crisis reserve fund support for dairy farmers.

 ‘No logic or justification for confiscating money from beef and sheep farmers’ to alleviate the income crisis in the dairy sector.’

Sligo News File Online

Judging from a statement published on the website of the ICSA – an ICSA association representing the cattle and sheep sector – it looks that the organisation has called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney not to allow dairy farmers benefit from finance stashed in what is known as the crisis reserve fund.

The statement quotes ICSA chairman Patrick Kent as warning that his association “will totally oppose any use of the crisis reserve fund to support dairy farmers.”

He declares, according to the statement, “There can be no logic or justification for confiscating money from beef and sheep farmers’ to alleviate the income crisis in the dairy sector.”

Claiming dairy incomes, “are on average three times that of cattle and sheep farmers,” the statement goes on to say:

“It makes no sense at all for cattle and sheep farmers to financially prop up dairy farmers when we remain such a long way behind in terms of annual income.”

The statement also points to EU aid already provided in 2015 where funding for the dairy industry “was matched to the tune of €14m by a government top-up.”

On other proposals, the statement appears to express support for a voluntary reduction in production, which it said “may not be a bad idea as long as there is nothing compulsory involved.

“While this is a French proposal relating to dairying, …it might be time to look at something similar for beef,” the statement added.

James Reynolds
James Reynolds

Longford farmer James Reynolds is currently treasurer of the association after previously serving as its secretary.

He has said the ICSA is “unique in being the only farm organisation to call for the appointment of an EU-wide regulator for the meat industry…”