The topic of vulture funds is one we've discussed on That's Farming over the past two weeks, with the ICSA promising to tackle the issue here.
As of today however, the ICSA is meeting with senior officials from Cerberus and Capita Asset Services in the next few hours. The meeting has been arranged to discuss the sell-off of farm loans to vulture funds. The ICSA delegation will include ICSA president Patrick Kent and Rural Development chairman Seamus Sherlock.
Mr Sherlock said “ICSA has committed itself to tackling the issue farm loans now under the control of vulture funds. I would like to assure farmers that ICSA will support each and every member in their dealings with vulture funds and will assist in their efforts to find a reasonable solution.”
At a meeting in the ICSA offices last week, ICSA Rural Development chairman Seamus Sherlock announced that the association is committed to helping farmers whose loans have been sold off to vulture funds.
Mr Sherlock said that ‘it is important that every angle is explored to find a satisfactory compromise for both sides which will enable the farm to be retained by the farm family’. He added that fire sales and quick fixes will not be tolerated while other avenues need to be considered:
“Every farmer’s position is different and must be handled on a case by case basis. In certain cases selling part of the asset might be the preferred option, particularly for older farmers who may have little or no interest in a long-term restructuring plan.
“For others who wish to remain in the industry, every effort must be made to find solutions in order to facilitate the farm family remaining on the land. This will require fresh thinking and, in certain cases, a long-term repayment plan.”
Concluding, Mr Sherlock wished to reassure all ICSA members that they are not alone and that ICSA will endeavour to work with vulture fund administrators and farmers to find reasonable compromises that will keep the family farming the land for years to come.