Updated: 11/10/17 : 06:25:37
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ICOS – Budget 2018 is a huge missed opportunity to deal with dairy farm income volatility

ICOS President Martin Keane has today reacted to the announcement of Budget 2018. Mr Keane stated “ICOS is extremely disappointed by the failure of the Department of Finance to include an income stabilisation measure in this year’s budget”.

“Since 2016, ICOS  (Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) has developed a strategic, income stabilisation tool whereby a farmer can enter into a voluntary agreement with their co-operative to defer up to 5% of their gross annual income in a good year, to draw down during weak markets. The detailed proposal by ICOS can result in a significant stabilisation impact on the income of a typical family farm enterprise.”

“Unfortunately, it is now the second year running whereby the Government has failed to grasp the opportunity to develop the appropriate tools to help farmers mitigate against the worst extremes of income volatility. This is hugely frustrating as we are now well into another phase of the volatility cycle for dairy markets with little or no assistance from the Government.”

Mr. Keane concluded “the announcements related to the provision of loan fund for SME’s including food businesses and a separate package for the farming sector is welcome. In the context of Brexit, there is an overwhelming need for working capital to develop new market openings and product diversification.”