ICMSA: farm waste deal possible

A RESOLUTION to the controversy around the end-of-year deadline on the Farm Waste Management Scheme can be found, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association has claimed.

An ICMSA delegation met with senior members of Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel’s cabinet in Brussels last week.

The delegation said it was impressed by the grasp that the Commission officials demonstrated of the difficulties that Irish farmers were experiencing in meeting the original schedule due to a long period of unprecedented, unsettled and bad weather. The president of the ICMSA, Jackie Cahill, said he had requested an extension to the December 31 deadline on the grounds of unavoidable delays due to weather conditions.

He said the delegation also pointed to the huge levels of investment Irish farmers were making at a time of financial turmoil and that holding Ireland to the current unrealistic deadline was in no one’s interest or benefit.

“The Commission officials have undertaken to give ICMSA’s arguments detailed consideration and have indicated no objection in principle to the Irish case,” he said.

However, Mr Cahill said the only remaining obstacle at European level that might prove difficult is a strictly legal interpretation of official guidelines.

“The ICMSA formula to overcome this rests on a binding contract being in existence on December 31 and that too is now being actively considered by the Commission services.

“The key thing here is that the Government must now formerly seek an extension on the deadline.

“I would be hopeful and confident that should the Government seek an extension that it will be granted.

“We need the Government to adopt a much more proactive approach here. ICMSA will continue its discussions with the Commission on this critical matter,” he said.


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