Alternative trading arrangements for livestock are possible, IFA say

Reacting to the announcement that marts are to close, the IFA president Tim Cullinan said it was disappointing and another challenge to the trade, but emphasised that alternative safe arrangements can be put in place.

This would allow cattle to continue to move and trade at what is an important time of the year for the sector.

“There are no restrictions on the movement of livestock,” he said.

“We have been in contact with the ICOS Marts Committee. We are strongly of the view that our existing livestock mart network can provide the mechanism to facilitate the continuation of trade between farmers, while also adhering to the increased restrictions,” he said.

Marts have weighing facilities and a system that provides security of payment.

They also have a long track record of security of payment which underpins the bond of trust between buyers and sellers.

“Farmers should be careful about entering into any arrangements where payment may not be secured,” he said.

ICOS – Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd

Statement on marts closures

The blanket closure of all marts is disappointing given that the marts that had remained open had put significant effort and finances into staying open in a safe way while still enabling farmers to trade their animals.

Co-op marts are owned by farmers and exist for farmers. We urge any farmer wishing to buy or sell livestock to contact their local mart managers as we can still arrange for the marketing of animals, albeit as the government has decreed, we cannot market them through the physical auction sales ring.

Marts have significant contact databases of buyers and sellers and we have a long and proud history of honouring payments to farmers.

We will continue to offer these services to farmers.

ICOS mart managers will be considering how we can best serve our customers during this difficult time.

We are calling on the government to now reconsider the ANC retention periods, as a matter of urgency, as if marts are now closed to a minimum of April 19, then complying with the current seven-month retention period will be a problem.

This would allow farmers a longer timeframe to purchase the animals needed to comply with the stocking density requirements of the scheme, greatly assisting their economic viability.

Basic payment schemes and ANCs will never be more critical for farmers to comply with in order to secure these payments and DAFM should prioritise this change immediately to alleviate this situation.

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