The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) has confirmed that co-op branches throughout Ireland are only permitted to sell essential farm inputs.
ICOS stated that this policy was enforced under the new public health guidelines announced on Friday, March 27th.
Eamonn Farrell, agri-food policy executive said: “ICOS can confirm that co-op stores are designated as essential retail outlets and they can continue to operate under strict protocols. Co-op stores must limit the sale of products available to essential farm inputs only for the duration of the current restrictions.”
“Essential inputs for farming and care of animals include feed, fertiliser, animal remedies, dairy hygiene products, seed, sprays and crop packaging, following clarification sought from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Co-ops stores can operate delivery services for certain items, where it is practical to do so.”
“ICOS would like to recognise the extensive range of measures implemented by co-op stores throughout the country to comply with physical distancing and public health guidelines. The designation as an essential service comes with responsibility and every possible effort is being made to protect co-op staff and farmer customers alike, while maintaining an essential service.”
It is urging farmers to comply with the protocols introduced by their local co-op branch and to strictly follow the guidance provided by staff. “We appreciate their patience and support during this very difficult period for everyone in society,” he concluded.