The Government’s blanket closure of all marts is disappointing given that the marts, that had remained open, had put significant effort and finances into staying open in a safe way while still enabling farmers to trade their animals.
That’s according to ICOS – Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd, a group that represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts.
Co-Op marts are owned by farmers and exist for farmers and ICOS is urging any farmer wanting to buy or sell livestock to contact their local mart manager as he/she can still arrange for the marketing of animals, albeit as the Government has decreed, they cannot market them through the physical auction sales ring.
ICOS is calling on the Government to now reconsider the ANC retention periods, as a matter of urgency, as if marts are now closed to a minimum of 19th of April then complying with the current 7 month retention period will be a problem.
It insists that basic payment schemes and ANCs will never be more critical for farmers to comply with, in order to secure these payments, and says the DAFM should prioritise this change immediately to alleviate the situation.