Eamon Carroll

Farmers Charter “Must Start Delivering” – ICMSA

Speaking following the conclusion of the Farmers Charter negotiations, the Deputy President of ICMSA, Eamon Carroll, welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations and repeated ICMSA’s position that the Charter provides a basis and reference towards ensuring that farmers are treated fairly and reasonably in their dealings with the Department. After that, said Mr Carroll, the success or failure of the Charter was completely dependent on its implementation and the commitment that officials brought to their obligations.    

Expressing disappointment that the discussions took so long, Mr. Carroll said that the Minister could – and should – have ensured that the negotiations were concluded in 2023 and farmers had paid a heavy price during that period in the absence of the Charter.  Payment delays were a particular problem in 2023 and Mr. Carroll noted that ICMSA had secured a direct commitment from the Minister in September 2023 that the payment dates would revert to pre-2023 calendar dates going forward and these early payment dates were amongst the most important commitments contained in the Charter.

In relation to notice of inspection, the ICMSA Deputy President described as “significant” the change that has Agri-environmental schemes moving from being ‘unannounced’ to now generally involving up to 48 hours notice being given with a commitment from the Department to provide the maximum allowable under EU legislation for all schemes in normal circumstances.   “In this day and age, it is simply unacceptable for an individual farmer to be expected to ‘down tools’ and deal with an inspection without adequate notice – particularly given the pressures on fulltime farmers – as well as the difficulty in part-time farmers getting time off their jobs at short notice.  We need to deal with the realities of farming and that means adequate notice of inspection – which in the next CAP negotiations – being increased beyond 48 hours”, said Mr. Carroll.

ICMSA will want the Minister to immediately appoint an independent Chairperson to chair the Monitoring Committee and will want – as one of the first items on the agenda and certainly within three months – a full review of TAMS reference costs which should be applied retrospectively to all investments completed in 2024.  “The Reference Costs have never been so out-of-line and this is a task that must be completed without delay. That’s the first priority, along with an assurance that all payments will be made on time in 2024 given the massive cashflow and other pressures on farmers at this time”, concluded Mr. Carroll.

Ends         3 July 2024

Eamon Carroll, 087-6312945

Deputy President, ICMSA.


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office