Coronavirus

Marts body 'disappointed' over closure order

ICOS says measures had been taken

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Marts body 'disappointed' over closure order

ICOS is disappointed with the closure of marts

The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) has expressed its disappointment at the Government’s blanket closure of all marts, 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 following the Taoiseach's announcement of further curtailments due to the Covid-19 crisis, ICOS said that co-op marts were owned by farmers and existed 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," the said.

They said that marts had significant contact databases of buyers and sellers and had 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," they said.

ICOS called on the Government to now reconsider the ANC retention periods, as a matter of urgency, as if marts were now closed to a minimum of April 19 then complying with the current seven-month retention period will be a problem. 

"This 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. Basic payment schemes and ANCs will never be more critical for farmers to comply with in order to secure these payments and DAFM should prioritise this change immediately to alleviate this situation," they said.