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Saturday 3 December 2016

ICMSA members up 20pc in past two years

Farming Independent team

Published 01/11/2016 | 14:00

John Comer, President, addressing the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) AGM at Limerick Racecourse. - Picture: Kieran Clancy
John Comer, President, addressing the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) AGM at Limerick Racecourse. - Picture: Kieran Clancy

Membership of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has grown by 20pc the Farming Independent has learned.

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Total membership at the ICMSA, the country's second largest farming organisation, currently stands at 15,000.

Meanwhile, the IFA has refused to reveal any movement in its membership figures as the one-year anniversary of the controversy approaches this month.

A spokesperson for ICMSA confirmed the upturn.

"We've experienced a 20pc jump in new members in 2015 to 2016 compared to 2014 to 2015.

"The association's membership has grown during what has been a very difficult financial year for farmers, and the fact was being interpreted as recognition and acknowledgement of the work being carried out on the members' behalf," he said.

The IFA refused to offer details on whether membership figures have experienced a rise, fall, or have remained steady, following the revelation that former general secretary Pat Smith received pay packages of €535,000 in 2013 and €445,000 in 2014.

Mr Smith resigned from the organisation after 25 years, while then president Eddie Downey stood down as the IFA became mired in acrimony.

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A spokesperson for the IFA said: "Any update on the activities of the association will be delivered to our governing body, the Executive Council."

Last March, an official IFA report to the Executive Council, reported that 4,500 IFA members had left the organisation since the controversy erupted last November.

The farm body revealed 528 farmers had cancelled their membership.

And a further 4,000 farmers have let their membership lapse, leaving the IFA with just over 75,500 fully paid-up members.

The organisation had also received more than 1,100 calls carrying comments and complaints regarding the events.

Indo Farming