Eddie Downey elected Vice-President of European farmers union

IFA President Eddie Downey has been elected Vice-President of COPA, the European Farm Organisation.

Five other Vice-Presidents were also elected. The election took place today (September 25) in Brussels, Belgium.

Martin Merrild from Denmark was elected the new President of COPA.

Downey was elected IFA President in January 2014.

In his inaugural speech, Downey stressed the importance of his new Charter of Rights designed to remove the fear surrounding inspections.

Speaking to the press afterwards he said that the main issue is unannounced inspections.

“The situation with inspectors just driving into the yard unannounced. The fear factor associated with that is anonymous. It’s unacceptable.

“It’s not just here it’s all over Europe and this is a problem,” he said.

Downey outlined that he met with the head of inspections in Europe and he was quite willing to look at this whole area and there is a flexibility there that he can explore.

“The key to this whole area is the yellow card system. Where the inspector would come in and say to the farmer you have a couple of weeks to get something right.

“This covers both the inspector and the farmer,” he said.

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