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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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Covid-19 Level 5: Some marts seeking to have limited number of ringside buyers

IFA president Tim Cullinan has acknowledged the work by the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, his officials, and marts to keep business operating as “close to normal” as possible during the Level 5 restrictions.

He said marts provide an essential service to farmers and the agricultural community, especially open and transparent market price competition, and security of payment.

Live auction system

“The autumn trade is crucial, and it would be hugely disruptive if trade could not continue. The overriding objective for everybody must be to ensure the mart trade continues to be facilitated in a live auction system,” he said.

The farm leader spoke with Minister McConalogue in advance of the Government decision to move to Level 5, stressing the importance of ensuring the marts could function in a workable way for buyers and sellers.

“The provision of viewing facilities for purchasers prior to the sale is important to allow the trade to function in a transparent way.”

Seeking to have ringside buyers

Cullinan said some marts are seeking to have a very limited number of buyers at the ringside, and flexibilities with viewing times to reflect the larger sales in this period.

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“Every effort should be made to facilitate trading conditions that are as normal as possible, once social distancing and other guidelines are followed fully,” he said.

He said the farm group is in regular contact with the Department and the Minister to ensure the mart system can function “as close to normal as is possible”.

Collective effort

IFA national livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, said it is critical that farming has been recognised as ‘essential work’ in Level 5, which allows farmers to go about their daily business.

He outlined that is important we all play our part in supporting the measures in place and that our service providers ensure the health and safety of their employees is catered for.

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