The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has stated that they believe the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski, has lacked leadership during a time when farmers need his help.
The farm organisation reacted angrily to a recent statement from Wojciechowski and the associations’ president, Colm O’Donnell, has said that “he is sitting on his hands.”
A formal letter was written to Commissioner Wojciechowski instructing him to activate article 219 of the EU Common Market Organisation (CMO)has been sent by the INHFA, which would make provisions for urgent procedures to effectively deal with the market disturbance caused by COVID-19.
"This specific Article of the CMO gives the Agricultural Commissioner the authority to access immediately whatever funds are necessary to address or prevent market disturbance. He can justify such action where intervention may prevent the threat materialising and turning into a more severe and prolonged disturbance" stated the INHFA Leader
“Delaying immediate action could threaten to aggravate the disturbance or increase the extent of the measures which would later be necessary to address the threat. Also going forward this could be detrimental to production and market conditions."
“Whatever rescue package materialises, the primary producers of suckler beef, sheep and lamb must be compensated for the sterilisation of their farm enterprises due to the European Union’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic,” O’Donnell concluded.