Updated: 29/08/17 : 15:19:48
at the Iverk Show in Kilkenny at the weekend, IFA President Joe Healy
called on the Government to support farmers through the difficulties
caused by Sterling fluctuation as a result of Brexit uncertainty.
Healy said, “The Irish agri-food sector is the most exposed sector to
Brexit, with over 40% of exports going to the UK. Maintaining the
possible trading relationship with the UK must be an absolute priority
in the Brexit negotiations.”
the more immediate term, he said, Government must protect the
agriculture sector against the sharp devaluation of Sterling arising
uncertainty, which is having major repercussions for farmers.
EUR/GBP exchange rate has now crossed the crucial 90p mark and sharp
fluctuation is likely to continue given the uncertainty around Brexit
The IFA President said a number of support measures are required and must be targeted at farmers.
agriculture sector is facing continuing competitiveness challenges
arising from the weakness of Sterling as a direct
fallout from the UK Brexit decision. This October’s Budget should
support new lower cost loan products for farming through the SBCI, to
fund both ongoing working capital requirements and for on-farm
investment. The Government must also provide additional funding
for farm schemes.
should be making a strong case at EU level for greater flexibility and
an increase in EU State Aid limits. This
would give greater scope for Government to directly support affected
sectors, such as farming and the agri-food sector, whose competitiveness
versus their EU trading partners has been undermined due to the
devaluation has had major repercussions for the mushroom sector, which
exports 90% of its produce to the UK and
has already lost a significant number of producers due to the initial
impact of Brexit. Government must seek direct support at EU level for
mushroom producers through CAP Market Support measures, which are
designed to address disturbances caused by significant
IFA President also warned that while the devaluation of Sterling is
having an impact on the beef sector, farmers believe that beef factories
are using the uncertainty around Brexit and the weakness of Sterling to
opportunistically cut beef prices.
said Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed cannot allow these cuts to
continue, “The Minister must insist that there is competition in the
and market returns are fairly passed back to farmers. In addition, he
must ensure that any increased market access delivers real price gains
and stability back to farmers.”
meat industry is seeking funding to help defray the impact of recent
devaluations however if any funding is provided it must go directly to
farmers" Joe Healy said.
meat factories have been more than passing back any cost of
devaluations to farmers. The beef price in the UK Is the equivalent of
including VAT while factories are quoting €3.80/3.85/kg here. They
continue to make profits while farmers are struggling," Joe Healy