Speaking in advance of today’s Charter of Rights meeting, IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy said that the commitment given by the Department of Agriculture to a review of the inspection and appeals system will be a key issue at the meeting.
IFA will be looking for a plan of action by the Department to bring about real change so that farmers are treated fairly.
Richard Kennedy said it is clear from recent evidence on the number of inspections and the penalties imposed, that some farmers and some regions are being treated unfairly. “This is resulting in hardship on farm families and is having a serious impact on their farm income. IFA will be seeking a defined timeline for this review, to happen well before cross-compliance inspections begin later this year”, he said.
In relation to payments, Richard Kennedy will be insisting that the GLAS payment debacle of 2016 is not repeated. IFA will be insisting that the Charter commitments on ANC payments in the 3rd week of September, the advance Basic Payment on October 16th, GLAS payments in the Oct-Nov period, along with all other timelines agreed in the Charter, are met.
The IFA Deputy President pointed out that direct payments are a crucial element of farm income and any delay is totally unacceptable. “For the Charter to have credibility among farmers, it must be seen to deliver these vital payments.”