Minister Creed: banks must show ‘forbearance’ when dealing with farmers

Irish farmers are paying too much for credit, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, has said and he will be meeting with the pillar banks to address this.

Speaking at the launch of the ‘Glanbia Advance Payment’ scheme, which is providing interest-free cash flow support to farmers, Minister Creed said the cost of credit available to Irish farmers though traditional pillar banks is not what it should be.

“The cost of credit is too high. It does not stack up in context of the interest rates being charged around Europe. We do not have effective functioning, competitive banking partners.”

The Minister also said that he would be meeting with the pillar banks in the coming weeks to “impress on them the necessity to display forbearance with individual farmers”.

He also said the Government is pursuing a whole range of policy instruments to try and assist the dairy industry to ensure the industry and farmers get through the current difficulties and are in a position to capitalise when the markets recover.

Many farmers, he said, had invested heavily to be in a position to take up the opportunities post quota and that cohort is feeling particular financial pressure at the moment.

“Volatility of prices is going to be a feature of the market post quota…and we do need a range of policy instruments to get us through that”.