ICMSA to join national protest by farmers


The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers' Association decided yesterday to take part in the national protest by farmers planned for Dublin on Wednesday, October 28th, over the crisis in the industry. The protest has been organised by the Irish Farmers' Association.

Speaking at the a.g.m. in Limerick, Mr Frank Allen, the ICMSA president, urged everybody involved in the farming sector, be they farmer, trader or processor, to take part.

"I myself will attend the national protest of farmers and I sincerely request every member of the ICMSA, and as many farmers who can, to attend in order to highlight the depth of the current crisis and to draw the attention of our own Government and of the Brussels bureaucrats to the urgency of realistic solutions," he told his members.

Mr Allen said the collapse of the Russian market was one of the principal reasons for the lowest cattle prices since the 1974-75 crisis. This was being heightened because all sectors of the farming community were now being hit.

Mr Allen said the challenge facing the ICMSA was immense and unparalleled because the very foundations of the Common Agricultural Policy were being critically examined in a manner never previously contemplated.

It was now clear the policy of the European Commission was to cut real prices to farmers at a faster rate than previously was the case, he added.

He said the benefits of the Celtic Tiger economy were bypassing farmers and, while every other sector of Irish society was riding on the crest of a wave, farmers were leaving the land in droves, forced out by the uncertainty of their future.

Calling for real investment by the Government, Mr Allen said there should be special schemes to encourage young people to go into farming.