ICOS has described the Government’s closure of all marts as “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.
In a statement, ICOS (the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd.) said: “Co-op marts are owned by farmers and exist for farmers. We urge any farmer wishing to buy or sell livestock to contact their local mart manager as we can still arrange for the marketing of animals, albeit as the Government has decreed, we cannot market them through the physical auction sales ring.
“Marts have significant contact databases of buyers and sellers and we have a long and proud history of honouring payments to farmers. We will continue to offer these services to farmers. ICOS mart managers will be considering how we can best serve our customers during this difficult time”.
ICOS is now calling on the Government to 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.
This, ICOS says, would allow farmers a longer timeframe to purchase the animals needed to comply with the stocking density requirements of the scheme, greatly assisting their economic viability.