Farm Ireland

Wednesday 24 May 2017

IFA annual report lays bare organisation's full figures

IFA President Joe Healy pictured with Bryan Barry, IFA Assistant General Secretary and Richard Kennedy Deputy President. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath
IFA President Joe Healy pictured with Bryan Barry, IFA Assistant General Secretary and Richard Kennedy Deputy President. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The IFA has published its annual report for 2016, with detailed accounts and a breakdown of its work over the past year.

It comes almost a year on from Joe Healy's election as President of the organisation and less than18 months since a high profile pay scandal engulfed the organisation and led to the resignation of both its President and General Secretary.

According to the report, its membership figure stands at 75,829 - significantly down from the 88,000 it claimed to have just three years ago.

Delving further into the report, the figures show that income in 2016 was €18,977,049 - down from €20,187,698 in 2015 - a drop of €1.2m.

Further, its investment income was down from €346,000 in 2015 to €229,000 in 2016, while the value of its investments was down €3.6m.

The figures also show that its reserve fund down is down €3m.

They also show that the European Investment Fund (EIF) levy, which it collects from farmers, dropped 12pc from €4.692m in 2015 to €4.1m in 2016, back some €500,000 on 2015.

Its Brussels office cost €597,000 and IFA spent €416,075 on membership recruitment and €439,619 on membership promotion.

Running to almost 150 pages, the annual report also shows that the association spent €617,264 on public relations in 2016, albeit down from the €767,595 spend in 2015. However, its spend on professional fees is up, from €338,408 to €616,442.

Overall, its expenditure is down from €19.254m to €18.004m with staff costs falling from €5.7m in 2015 to €5.2m last year.

In the report, Joe Healy said “renewing and rebuilding IFA requires that we put trust and transparency at the heart of our Association.

“Significant progress was made during 2016 on the renewal of our organisation,” he said.

Healy pointed to a review the Lucey Implementation Committee carried out a detailed review, with the assistance of independent advice as required, and brought forward recommendations covering the key issues of:, governance, transparency, and income and financing.

He said the IFA has created the new position of Director General, and a separate role of Secretary, who will have responsibility for advising the Council on all aspects of governance.

Healy said a new Remuneration Committee has set the pay of the President, Deputy President and Director General.

“We have published the remuneration of key management personnel, and we have gone significantly further than the accounting requirements.

“We have provided details on the individual payments to the President, Deputy President and Director General and aggregate payments to other senior management, senior staff and Executive Council.

“In addition, all pay levels in IFA have been independently benchmarked,” he said.

On IFA income, Healy said the Implementation Committee recommended the combined membership and levy model to be the fairest and most equitable system.

“This maintains IFA’s income independence and allows all farmers to contribute equally and proportionately based on the scale of their enterprise.

“The Committee also made a number of important recommendations on improving the transparency and operation of the reformed levy system,” he said.

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