ICMSA President Pat McCormack has accused Government Ministers of attempting a ‘three card trick’ over compulsory destocking of family farms.
Mr. McCormack this week contradicted claims by Ministers that compulsory destocking was not being sought.
“Such compulsory destocking has already begun and just because it is happening via the amended Nitrates Regulations does not make it any less of a harmful fact,” he said.
Mr McCormack said that there are family farms who will have to destock at the start of 2023 and may have to further destock in 2024 due to policies agreed by Government.
He said the net affect of this would be the removal of the family farm model to be replaced by the industrial scale farms seen in other countries.
“This policy is being driven by the changes introduced under the Nitrates Regulations which were proposed and designed by our own Government and cannot be blamed on the EU,” he said.
The ICMSA President added that politicians – both local and national – seemed “completely unaware of the effects the changes would have on full-time commercial dairy family farms who, were constantly assured, policy was attempting to protect”.
Mr. McCormack accused the Government of introducing massive policy changes without consultation and he cited the amended nitrates rates as an example.
“Government policy amounts to a ‘three card trick’ where farming communities were distracted and told to focus on one highly visible area while ruinous policy changes were smuggled past without any worthwhile consultation or analysis,” he said.
“We have always said that farmers are happy and willing to play our role in this historic drive to sustainability, but we seem to be the only element that remembers that there was meant to be room for economic sustainability as well.
“It’s up to our rural representatives to insist that our farming communities get at least the same level of consultation and consideration that the Government seems very happy to give everyone else,” concluded Mr. McCormack.