Efforts are underway to establish an Agricultural Appeals Review Panel, which will include farmer representation as part of the reform of the Agriculture Appeals Office, according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue.

This is part of the ongoing review of the office, he told attendees of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) annual general meeting today (Thursday, January 28).

2017 review and 2018 report

“A review of the Agriculture Appeals Act 2001 to ensure the independence and efficiency of the Agriculture Appeals Office in dealing with appeals was carried out in 2017,” the minister explained.

“A report containing recommendations was published in 2018.”

Some of the recommendations contained in the report, he noted, have already been put in place or are in the process of being put in place such as the appointment of a deputy director and engagement by the director with the Farmers’ Charter of Rights Monitoring Committee.

However, he added: “Some of the recommendations contained in the report will require legislative amendments before they can be implemented.

One of the most significant recommendations in the 2018 report concerns the introduction of an independent Agriculture Appeals Review Panel.

“The current Programme for Government contains a commitment to establish an independent Agriculture Appeals Review Panel.

“The establishment of such a panel will require amendment to primary legislation as will some of the other recommendations contained in the 2018 report.

“I am now working to deliver the establishment of this Review Panel with farmer representation and I will be consulting with the IFA in due course,” the minister concluded.