IFA will not attend the meeting for farm organisations called by the Minister for Agriculture this morning.
Following a meeting of its National Council on Tuesday, the IFA decided to picket the final meeting of the Farmers’ Charter group which was due to take place in Portlaoise this morning (Thurs).
Late yesterday, the Minister cancelled this meeting and instead invited IFA and other organisations to a meeting in Dublin to ‘discuss’ payments for 2023 and to ‘update’ us on the Nitrates Derogation.
Despite the cynical last-minute manoeuvre by the Minister to move the meeting to Dublin, we plan to picket this meeting.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said that the time for ‘discussion’ and ‘updates’ had passed and that it was time for the Minister to deal with the problems.
“The statement by the Minister in relation to cuts in the Nitrates Derogation, following an online meeting with the EU Commissioner, has further angered farmers. It is a flawed decision and it must be revisited. Derogation farmers have already implemented 30 measures on their farms, but these are not being given a chance to work,” he said.
IFA withdrew from the Charter talks before the summer in protest at the Minister’s decision to write to farmers advising that certain payments including ANC and the Basic Payment would be paid later in 2023 compared to previous years. However other farm organisations stayed in the talks.
IFA examined the draft document for the proposed Charter meeting. Despite all the talking, absolutely no progress has been made on the 2023 payments dates.
In addition, the Department’s failure to approve TAMS applications for 2023 is causing huge issues for farmers who cannot proceed with building before the winter.
IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe, who headed IFA’s original delegation to the Charter talks, said the talks are a sham as payment dates for 2023 have already been announced by the Minister. The Minister has decided, with a shoulder shrug, that ANC payments will be a month late and the Basic Payment will be two weeks late.
“The Minister must revisit his late payments plan for 2023. These talks are bogus and anyone participating in them is just giving the Minister cover,” he said.
“We now see that the TAMS scheme is a mess with no approvals granted. Farmers who have urgent works to carryout for the winter are in limbo with no indication of when it will be resolved,” he said.
“The Department is grinding to a halt. The Department is prioritising being the best people in the class with the EU above farmers.” he concluded.