Archive for October, 2009

Clare to Lose Most from REPS Closure

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Reversing the government decision to dismantle the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) is more vital for Clare than almost every other county in the country, according to IFA presidential candidate, John Bryan.

John Bryan, who visited a large number of farms in the county last week, said with over 3,000 farmers in the county participating in REPS the impact of closing the scheme on the welfare of farm families and rural areas will be horrendous.

Announcing that reversing the savage REPS cutbacks will be his top priority if elected IFA President, John Bryan said payments under the scheme account for a high proportion of farm income on a large number of Clare farms.

“Without REPS, many of these farm families will be forced onto the Farm Assist Scheme.  Also up to 1,000 people involved in providing REPS-related services in the county will lose their jobs. The decision makes no economic sense,” said John Bryan.

He said that ensuring a vibrant live export trade for cattle, including an expansion of store cattle exports to the UK, will be another key policy objective during his presidential term. 

He condemned the collusion between Irish-owned meat factories in the UK and the major retailers in refusing to handle animals exported live from Ireland.

“Live exports are crucial in protecting incomes of cattle farmers and restrictive practices by meat factories must not be tolerated by our national and EU authorities,” said John Bryan.

Inspections of Farms Involved in Grain Trading an Insane Use of Resources

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Unannounced inspections by the Department of Agriculture of farms involved in farm-to-farm trading of grain has been described as an insane use of scarce national resources by IFA presidential candidate, John Bryan.

He said the inspections, apparently at the behest of the grain trade, are yet another example of bureaucracy gone mad.

“With the current shortage of feed and unprecedented income difficulties, farm-to-farm grain trading should be strongly promoted.  Instead, department officials are treating farmers as criminals,” said John Bryan.

He said this latest example of nonsensical bureaucracy is in stark contrast to the Department’s appalling inspection record that led to the dioxin crisis at the end of last year.

“On the Department’s own admission, a waste food facility handling high risk material was not inspected in well over a year.”

“Singling out farmers who are trying to survive through direct sales and purchases of safe, quality assured grain is a scandalous waste of money at a time when every farm scheme is being savagely cut.  The Department should disclose what the real agenda is behind this latest bout of needless bureaucracy,” said John Bryan