Re-elected as President of ICMSA today John Comer pledged himself to focus on three issues namely ‘milk price, milk price and milk price’.
This will be the Castlebar farmers second three-year term and milk price is the key focus of his next term.
At today’s National Council AGM in Limerick, John Comer was re-elected President of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), the state’s specialist dairy farmer organisation.
Of the 108 members eligible to vote, 95 cast their votes with Comer securing 73 against 22 for the challenger, Stephen Shorten, of West Cork.
Mr Comer thanked those who had voted for him and paid tribute to Mr Shorten who, Comer observed, had canvassed well and honourably and who was positive for the Association.
Mr Comer, who now serves another three-year term, said that a year of massive challenges loomed up in front of Ireland’s dairy farmers who he described as the ‘foundation stone’ for the state’s most critical and valuable indigenous economic sector and he called for a proactive approach on the part of the Government and EU to combat the kind of wild price volatility experienced over the last six months.
Comer expressed hope, too, that there was now an air of change at the highest levels in Europe regarding the current manipulations and abuses of the food supply chain by multinational retail corporations and he said that ICMSA would lead the effort to present the compelling arguments for fair play for farmers and primary producers and an end to relentless squeeze exerted on Europe’s farmers by the retail cartels.
Comer, operates a mixed dairy and beef family farm in Ballyvary, near Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Comer’s second term of the 18,000-strong specialist dairy farmers’ organisation and he is the first farmer from the West of Ireland to lead the 65 year-old association.
Previously he had served as Deputy President and was especially active as Chairperson of the Farm Services & Environment Committee where he developed a abiding interest in wider rural affairs and sustainable, environmentally-balanced, agri-development. Mr Comer is a board member of the European Milk Board, the EU’s fastest growing farm umbrella grouping, as well as sitting on the boards of Bord Bia, Irish Dairy Board and the National Dairy Council.