The ICMSA President, John Comer, has called for an advance SFP payment to be made “as early as possible and as high as possible” due to what he described as “ferocious” cash-flow pressures being exerted on farmers currently and which are likely to continue right to the back end of the year. Mr Comer said that while 70% of an advance is possible that rate of advance payment requires the Commission to pay that ‘across the board’ to all Member States and while desirable ICMSA understands that the Commission is reluctant to commit to that per centage. Notwithstanding that, ICMSA would be pressing Minister Coveney to go as high as possible in terms of the advance payment and to pay it out at the first permissible date in Mid-October.
“The plain fact is that farm families are in the midst of one of the worst cash squeezes in living memory. The financial fall-out from the spring fodder crisis is only now being fully reckoned and it is likely that that will take some years to work through, it’s that ferocious. While milk price is relatively healthy we’re seeing that steady erosion of margin through input inflation that ICMSA has been warning of for years. This combination of current debt and input inflation is really undermining efforts to work though 2013 and the most pressing issue for many farm families is the massive constraints around managing cash-flow. Farmers badly need that advance payment due mid-October to be as high as possible if they are to get any financial breathing space as they head into the back year. We need Minister Coveney to aim for that and we need him to convince any sceptics in the EU Commission that the highest possible advance payment is both possible and necessary. Given the desperate weather that they’ve experienced in Central Europe in the last month, some States might be more disposed to agree with us that farmers desperately need an advance on their payments and they need that signalled unambiguously and well in advance. That’s exactly what farmers need: an advance on their SFP that’s as high as possible and as early as possible”, said Mr Comer.
Ends 5 July 2013.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office