Fairness for Farmers meet on Mercosur concerns

Pictured (l-r) back row Edmond Phelan, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) Beef Chairman, Pat McCormack, Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) Deputy President , Michael Clarke, Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA) Chairman and Brian Brumby, Manx NFU President.
Front row, Samuel Morrison, Farmer For Action UK NI Steering Committee, William Taylor, Farmers For Action UK NI co-ordinator and FFE co-ordinator, Paul Smyth, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) Policy Officer, Susan Atkinson Family Farmers Association (FFA) and Patrick Kent, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) President.  Missing from photograph but present at the meeting was Chris Mallon, National Beef Association, National Director and Belinda Leach, General Secretary Manx NFU.
Pictured (l-r) back row Edmond Phelan, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) Beef Chairman, Pat McCormack, Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) Deputy President , Michael Clarke, Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA) Chairman and Brian Brumby, Manx NFU President. Front row, Samuel Morrison, Farmer For Action UK NI Steering Committee, William Taylor, Farmers For Action UK NI co-ordinator and FFE co-ordinator, Paul Smyth, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) Policy Officer, Susan Atkinson Family Farmers Association (FFA) and Patrick Kent, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) President. Missing from photograph but present at the meeting was Chris Mallon, National Beef Association, National Director and Belinda Leach, General Secretary Manx NFU.

Farm organisations from across the UK and Ireland have once again come together in Birmingham to meet under the banner of federation of farm organisations Fairness for Farmers in Europe (FFE), originally set up in 2006 to deal with the Brazilian beef issue.

A spokesperson said the major issues discussed by FFE members and confronting farmers across these islands are the current Mercosur and TTIP deals being offered by the EU where ‘unfortunately agriculture is set to be sacrificial lamb’.

The statement continued: “On top of this the financial pressure on farming families across these islands and into Europe is no longer tolerable. The organisations were informed about progress in Northern Ireland by NI Farm Groups who are putting the case to Stormont for legislation on farm gate prices to return a minimum of the cost of production plus a margin inflation linked across the staples thus creating a financial safety net for family farm businesses, in short, doing what Brussels has always promised rural dwellers in its Treaties, Laws and obligations but never enacted due to pressure from the corporate food giants across Europe and further afield.

“The final topic for discussion was Brexit, where interestingly Northern Ireland Farm Groups made it clear that a legal route for their legislation on farm gate prices project exists all the way to Brussels, but would be questionable with Westminster should we exit, yet family farmers would still face the same financial ravages from the large food corporates.

“FFE’s work has once again started in earnest,” the statement concluded.