On 9th April, ICOS formally wrote to the Minister of Agriculture, Michael Creed calling on the Government to ensure the following immediate actions are implemented to protect the milk production supply chain through the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- The urgent opening of aids to private storage for butter, SMP and all cheese types.
- To aid and support business contingency plans at processing level, the Government must provide maximum flexibility under the Organisation of Working Time Act provisions.
- The consideration of a risk management tool set up to compensate a milk supplier for unprocessed milk including mutual funds.
- The Government must extend priority testing to employees in the dairy processing sector so as to protect food security by ensuring the continuation of milk processing during peak production.
- To aid on-farm cash flow through the provision of a low-cost, flexible loan scheme for farmers.
A copy of the letter can be viewed here
Eamonn Farrell – Agri-Food Policy Executive