Downey appointed to board of directors at Farmer Business Developments

Eddie Downey, the former president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), has been appointed to the board of directors at Farmer Business Developments.

The Meath farmer was nominated to the position by the IFA at the Farmer Business Developments Annual General Meeting (AGM), which took place at the Irish Farm Centre in Bluebell, Dublin, earlier this afternoon (Friday, June 8).

Farmer Business Developments was established in its current form in 1988 as part of the re-organisation of the FBD Group. The company remains the largest shareholder in FBD Holdings – however, it is a separate entity.

The position that Downey has been appointed to is generally held by former presidents of the IFA. It is understood that Downey will take up the position immediately.

The development has been confirmed to AgriLand by multiple sources.

Fine Gael advisory group

Last month, Downey was also elected to the Fine Gael (FG) Agricultural Affairs Committee.

The tillage, beef and poultry farmer – who farms 140ac near Slane – was confirmed as a new member of the committee at a recent FG party meeting.

The FG Ag Affairs Committee consists of nominated Fine Gael members from constituencies across the country.

A spokesperson for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, previously confirmed the appointment to AgriLand.

“The committee offers an opportunity for dialogue on agricultural issues to members. The group has no formal policy function,” the spokesperson said.

After joining the FG committee group, Downey said he was “very pleased” with the opportunity to communicate with department officials on key issues affecting farmers in his region.

I’m delighted to be presented with this opportunity; it will give me the chance to continue the work that I was carrying out in the IFA.

“There are a number of areas where I felt that I hadn’t the opportunity to complete work – particularly in the area of young farmers and succession,” said Downey, who stepped down as president of the IFA in November, 2015.

He also acknowledged potential looming challenges in light of changes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020.