IFA protest day 'fight for future of farming'
THE IRISH Farmers’ Association is planning a day of action to highlight pressure on farm incomes.
Farmers will hold a protest in Dublin on Tuesday, October 9th, and the IFA is asking all farmers to shut down their enterprises on that day and not allow produce to leave their farms.
Reasons for the protest include the difficult harvest, problems in getting higher prices from supermarkets for produce, and fears that the EU’s budget for the Common Agricultural Policy (Cap) will be cut.
IFA president John Bryan said the wider agri-food sector was also being asked to support the day.
“The consequences of the disastrous summer and the escalating input costs has put massive pressure on farm incomes, and the Government have failed totally in its promise to farmers to address the dominance of the retail multiples through effective regulation.”
Mr Bryan said the Dublin protest would send a message to the Government on the need to defend the full Cap budget in Europe and retain national funding for income-related farm schemes.
“The negotiations on the Cap post-2013 are up for decision soon and the EU budget is under threat,” he said.
“The Irish Government must retain 100 per cent of Ireland’s national envelope from Europe so that the single farm payment and rural development measures are maintained.”
The day of action would be a “fight for the future of family farming”, said Mr Bryan.
“Previous cuts to farm schemes have been totally disproportionate, and are now hitting the lowest income sector of agriculture hard. Farmers are sending a message to Minister Coveney that he cannot cut the schemes any further.”
Mr Bryan said it was important to remember that farming supported 300,000 jobs and €9 billion of exports in the economy.