IFA takes a big hit on levies in the west
Published 07/06/2016 | 02:30
The IFA's €4.7m income from levies continues to be in jeopardy, with many western marts reporting drops in the revenue stream of up to a third.
It comes amid reports that membership at the organisation continues to slide, although a spokeperson for the organisation refused to reveal the extent of the drop.
"We had a very high collection rate, but it dropped by nearly 35pc when the controversy broke in IFA headquarters," said Sixmilebridge mart manager, Sean Ryan.
"Farmers won't come back until they are happy that it is right again, and right now they can't see when that is going to happen," he said.
IFA national chairman, Jer Bergin told national council in March that paid up membership had fallen to 75,501 from a high of 88,000 in 2013.
"Our forecast to the end of March 2016 suggests a decrease of 12pc in net levy," said Mr Bergin, who added that falling prices and volumes also had an effect.
Tom McGuire of Ballinrobe mart said that his "conservative" guess was that the levy take at the mart was down by a third. He added that once farmers requested to opt out from paying the levy, "the box has remained unticked ever since".
Billy Loftus at Ballina said that he thought the levy decrease was closer to 15pc at his mart.