IFA President Tim Cullinan has appealed to the farming community to be extra vigilant in curbing the spread of COVID-19.
“The country finds itself in a very fragile situation, with public health officials expressing serious concern about the level of community transmission. I am asking everybody to limit their contacts and to do everything possible to reduce the threat of infection,” he said.
Tim Cullinan said keeping the food chain going is essential. “I would encourage all farmers to review their protocols for interacting with their service providers and to strengthen the controls if necessary. The entire sector was very successful last March in delivering a steady supply of food for supermarket shelves and we want to keep that going during this Level 5 period,” he said.
The IFA President also reminded farmers that IFA had developed a Plan B document, in the event that a farmer contracted COVID-19 and somebody had to take over the running of the farm at short notice. “The Plan B document can be checked at IFA.ie/PlanB. Each farmer should update any details that may have changed since they first completed it,” he said.
Tim Cullinan alerted farmers to an initiative from FBD, and supported by IFA and FRS, to financially assist farm customers affected by a COVID-19 diagnosis. Upon diagnosis and if a farmer is unable to work, a Farm Relief Service (FRS) voucher of €500 will be provided to assist in keeping farms operational.
Finally, the IFA President asked members to keep in touch with neighbours who may need assistance in the coming weeks. “A quick phone call to check if anything is needed could be very important, and would be well received,” he said.