ICMSA ask farmers to respect procedure in Co-op outlets and feed merchants

As the present Covid crisis goes into its third week, Denis Drennan, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm & Rural Affairs Committee, cautioned against any degree of complacency and familiarity creeping in to our day-to-day routine and reminded farmers of the vital importance that all practice social distancing and the safety guidelines on their farms.  He was particularly concerned by reports that some farmers going to Co-ops stores and feed merchants are not observing the required social distancing and might be slipping back into their normal ‘social mode’.

“This just can’t happen. In fairness to the Co-ops and the merchants, they’re staying open as an essential service to farmers and the onus is on us to respect them and their staff and also to observe the regulations and recommendation around distances and disinfecting. Ring ahead and abide by their procedures as to when and how to collect the order. Go in, get as much in one order as you might normally get in two, and then go home – do not hang around for a chat because if the Co-op outlets and feed merchants emerge as problems in terms of social distancing then  they’ll be closed down and an already difficult situation will be compounded”, said Mr. Drennan.  

“The virus is extremely contagious so we must keep our distance from others that enter our farm – and people entering the farms should be kept to the absolute minimum” said Mr. Drennan, who said that the rules could be reduced to four principles that must be observed.

  1. Avoid all interactions with milk hauliers. Ensure the bulk tank and door handles are disinfected prior to arrival. Leave soap and paper at the sink so visitors can easily wash their hands.
  2. Avoid contact with delivery people.   State clearly prior to delivery where goods can be left and where to place the delivery docket.   Do not assist the delivery person during this time.
  3. Minimise contact during vet calls and maintain 2m distance from vets at all times.
  4. Farmers over the age of 70 need to be particularly vigilant and must avoid all contact with visitors on farm.

“We all know the strain and anxiety out there but equally we all know we have to keep he focus on and be disciplined. Above all, we have to respect the regulations and procedures to protect ourselves and the people working with – and for – us”, he concluded.  

Ends    1 April 2020

Denis Drennan, 086-8389401

Chairperson, ICMSA Farm & Rural Affairs Committee

Or

Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office