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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Calls for factories to provide electronic payments to farmers

The IFA has called on Meat Industry Ireland (MII) to provide electronic payment facilities for farmers selling livestock.

The chairman of the livestock committee Brendan Golden and the chairman of the sheep committee, Sean Dennehy, met MII recently to discuss the provision of electronic payments.

“Farmers who are selling livestock should have the option of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) if they want to avail of it. It is a standard service that exists across society and we want processors to extend it to farmers.”

Financial services in rural Ireland

The farm group warned that the exit of Ulster Bank and branch closures announced by Bank of Ireland will lead to a further contraction of banking services in rural Ireland.

“Farmers simply won’t have the facility to lodge cheques because they won’t have a bank in their community. The absence of an EFT arrangement will put farmers who don’t have easy access to lodgement facilities at a disadvantage.”

Golden and Dennehy asked processors to give this matter their urgent attention.

“For cashflow reasons, farmers shouldn’t have to wait for cheques to clear. We expect everybody who does business to upgrade their systems as soon as possible,” they said.

Online meeting

In other news, the farm group will host a virtual meeting for beef farmers on Tuesday (March 9th).

IFA wishes to seek farmers’ views on the current price situation, Brexit, Mercosur and CAP.

The meeting will hear a presentation by the senior policy executive for livestock, Tómas Bourke, and national livestock chairman Brendan Golden.

Golden said direct payments play a huge role in the viability of beef and suckler farms.

“The value of payments in the new CAP to the livestock sector cannot be eroded. A targeted payment of €300 for suckler cows is critical.”

“The Mercosur trade deal must be stopped. The existing deals that allow substandard products to undermine our key markets must be aligned with the standards imposed on Irish and EU farmers,” he concluded.

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