Ireland’s agricultural industry will close down next Tuesday (16 October) in support of a day of action by Irish farmers.
The day of action has been prompted by concerns that Ireland will recieve a bad deal in the upcoming EU negotiations on CAP reform. The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has warned that current proposals would affect the future of farmers and the majority of the beef, lamb, pig and poultry processors in the country, as well as dairy co-ops.
IFA president John Bryan claimed that some of the proposals could cost Ireland thousands of jobs by undermining the viability of the country’s most productive farmers. He said farm output would drop and the raw material for Ireland’s plans for growth in the food sector would not be available, if the EU Commission got its way.
“EU commission proposals to cut the CAP budget would also decimate Ireland’s hugely successful rural development programmes,” he added.
As part of the strike, thousands of farmers will leave their farms to protest in Dublin, which Bryan said would give the Irish government a clear message that they must fight to secure a full CAP budget in Brussels to support productive farmers and the rural economy.
“Farmers will also send a strong message to government that they cannot continue to heap extra costs and taxes on top of productivity and work,” he added. “The government needs to get serious about improving our competitiveness and not damaging it further with more taxes and costs on the hard-pressed business and productive sectors.”
Grain merchants and livestock marts stopped accepting farm produce yesterday (9 October) as part of the upcoming protest.
Bryan said the support was a major show of solidarity and thanked the agri-industry for its support. He added: “The agri-industry fully understands the consequences for their businesses and the 300,000 jobs depending on the sector if the EU Commission gets its way on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).”