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Speaking at this morning’s All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit in Dublin Castle, IFA President Joe Healy reinforced the devastating impact that a no-deal Brexit would have on Ireland’s agricultural sector. He outlined the crisis that is already underway in the beef sector and restated his call for mitigation measures to be put in place as a matter of urgency.

Joe Healy, IFA President said “Farmers are already feeling the brunt of Brexit. Uncertainty and the drop in the value of sterling have contributed to a crisis in our beef and pig sector in particular. Hoping that there will a safety net at the bottom of the cliff is not enough. We are already in freefall. We need support now.”

Earlier this week IFA representatives from across the country assembled in Dublin and lobbied TD and Senators from their constituencies on the beef crisis and Brexit.

The IFA presented a detailed set of proposals including;

An EU Brexit Emergency Support Package involving a comprehensive set of market supports and direct aid for farmers from the EU Commission
EU state aid limitations on members states must be set-aside
Challenge the meat factories to immediately increase prices and prioritise the young bull kill.
Increase factory controls on trim, classification and weights.
Strong support for the live export trade to double numbers in 2019 and ensure that no further restrictions are imposed on the trade
Reward quality suckler stock with a significant price premium
Increased funding for suckler to €200 per cow
Insist on an increase in the CAP budget
Continue to resist a damaging Mercosur trade deal
Climate change recommendations which focus on the Teagasc roadmap with no carbon-based production quota

IFA President Joe Healy has welcomed the statement by the EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker that the EU is ready to assist Irish farmers in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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IFA President Joe Healy welcomed the partnership investment being made by Glanbia with Royal A-ware as a positive step to diversify milk processing away from Cheddar Cheese in the context of the current Brexit uncertainty. “I am sure Glanbia suppliers will welcome the fact that the product mix on which their remuneration is based is being made less dependent on the UK market,” Mr Healy said.

IFA Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan said for Glanbia suppliers and all Ireland’s dairy farmers, it was crucial that more value be added to their milk, leveraging fully farmers’ hard work on sustainability.

“Diversifying away from the UK market is important, but adding more value to milk in the process is absolutely crucial. Our industry must now put more emphasis on adding value than volume,” Mr Phelan concluded.

IFA President Joe Healy, Director General Damian McDonald and European Director Liam MacHale met EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and Tom Tynan from his Cabinet in Brussels this week to discuss the possible consequences of a ‘no deal’ Brexit and supports for Irish farmers.

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Speaking after a meeting with UK farm leaders in London ahead of the crucial vote on Brexit in the House of Commons, IFA President Joe Healy said the clear view of farm leaders was that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be a disaster for farmers in Ireland & the UK and must be avoided.

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