16 March 2020
By Mary Bermingham
“ICSA fully supports the Government’s decisions designed to slow down spread of the virus and we will fully implement decisions regarding public meetings,” according to ICSA president Edmond Phelan.
“ICSA sees the health of all citizens as being the primary concern and we are obviously worried about the potential for coronavirus infections among our members. The farming population has an older demographic and we are acutely aware that the virus poses a bigger threat to older people and people with underlying health conditions.”
Mr Phelan added that the coronavirus impacts will be very severe on all sectors and farming is no different. Many farmers are extremely concerned about what the impact will be on trade. “Many farmers are facing into acute cash flow difficulties and wonder about the impacts on being able to sell stock and the potential impact on processing of beef and lamb at the normal levels. Farmers in the cattle and sheep sectors in particular are very vulnerable to any further economic disruption. We are also very concerned about the impact on mental health that could arise from any cash flow difficulties.”
Mr Phelan urged consumers to continue supporting Irish produce such as beef and lamb. “Farmers will continue to work as hard as they can to produce the highest standard traceable products and there will be adequate quantities. In this national emergency we all need to support each other.”
ICSA is calling for an immediate and full consultative process between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the main farm organisations.