Lamb Price Collapse Reinforces Need for Direct Supports

The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association is deeply concerned over the dramatic fall in the price of lamb. INHFA National Chair Brendan O’Malley outlined how “in order for hill farmers to qualify for payments under the CAP Programs they are obliged to graze their land. While this is necessary it does constitute a major problem that being the stock that grazes this land continues to lose money”.

This situation is compounded by the fact that many hill farmers are fearful of joining schemes such as GLAS. This is particularly true for those farmers on commonages with stable flocks. Significantly these are the farmers that most need to join in order to support their income and also the farmers that most need to be in the scheme in order to ensure the hills are managed properly.
INHFA have been in contact with senior department of agriculture officials pending a meeting with Minister Coveney to try to find resolutions which will encourage active hill farmers to join GLAS. Mr O’Malley added that “Changes will have to be made to the min/max figures, the collective responsibility element, and we also need the department to commission and take responsibility for the Commonage Management Plans”.

Mr O’Malley concluded by saying that “We are now at a crossroads with regard to the future of hill farming, and if we don’t make the right choices now we may not get another chance which is why we also need a scheme targeted at the hill sheep sector”.

End of press release.

Any questions on release please contact any of the following people
Brendan Joyce Galway 0872226737
Henry ODonnell Donegal 0862670742
Colm O’Donnell Sligo 0872226737
John Moran Mayo 0868306586