‘Creed must show leadership now more than ever’ – marts

Mart managers are urging the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to “show more leadership than ever” by securing a financial support package for farming.

This is the view of Associated Livestock Marts (ALM) in response to Taoiseach Leo Vardakar’s decision to closedown the country’s marts in line with the nation’s ongoing fight against Covid-19. The situation is to be reviewed on April 19.

The pressure is mounting on the minister who is today, Wednesday, March 25, engaging with the EU’s other agriculture ministers to consider the impact of the virus pandemic on food security, and on the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

Issues up for scrutiny include: the effects of shifts in consumption patterns; single market issues such as movement of goods and labour; and implications for farmers and agri-food workers.

While ALM described the shutdown of the country’s mart trade as a “realistic approach” to containing the spread of the disease, the group also has significant concerns for farmers that are continuing to supply the food-chain.

“Marts have and will continue to play a major role in the food chain after Covid 19, however it is highly prudent that Minister Michael Creed shows leadership now more than ever by securing a financial support package – and the adaption of farm schemes to alleviate concerns for farmers in this extremely difficult time.

“Farmers are – and will – continue to be the back bone of Ireland. For this momentous and courageous group of people financial support must be put in place with immediate effect; while also encompassing tax reliefs regarding their inability to purchase stock at this time.

“We as mart managers / owners have worked closely with our farmer clients over generations; we know the farming calendar like the back of our hand.

“We were welcoming the spring trade into our rings, a time which seen many livestock traded especially cattle traded and an air of optimism amongst farmers,” a statement from the group outlined.

Proactive

ALM intends to work with its farmers to broker deals facilitating procurement of stock and ensuring “a fair price” is been achieved.

“To this end if you have stock to sell or wish to purchase stock please contact your local mart manager and make them aware.

“Let’s be proactive in our actions and with this in mind we will be ringside once again in the not so distant future,” the statement concludes.

Stay tuned to AgriLand‘s mart status feed for all the latest updates and commentary on the nationwide mart closures…

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