Hogan’s reassurance on Brexit will give farmers confidence – ICMSA

The reassurance by the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, that the European Union will step up to the plate and support Ireland in the event of a damaging Brexit, has been welcomed by a dairy farmer lobby group.

Pat McCormack, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), has said that farmers will take “confidence and reassurance” from the commissioner’s remarks.

Speaking in Dublin today (Friday, March 15), the commissioner advised Irish farmers to stay calm following the UK’s “political stunt” earlier in the week.

McCormack noted that Commissioner Hogan’s remarks “conveyed a sense of solidarity and unity”.

However, he stressed that there is still “a complete absence of detail as regards the compensatory measures that the commission might be contemplating in the event of a ‘crash out’ situation on March 29”.

Farmers now need to understand how and when the promised supports will be delivered to them.

“Marketing budgets and financial supports to agencies aimed at winning replacement markets would not constitute the kind of support that was already urgently required.”

Continuing, McCormack pointed out that: “Farmers are already suffering financially from the long, intense period of uncertainty and market chaos that has undermined certainly beef prices for the last six months.

In ICMSA’s opinion, measurable losses have already occurred and should be addressed by the commission.

“We think that talking in terms of ‘if’ and ‘in the event of’ is to ignore the fact that the losses have already been suffered and are currently being suffered on an ongoing basis”, concluded McCormack.