Eddie Downey: 'Farms and farmers need to be safer and healthier'
Eddie Downey farms 140ac of tillage, beef and a broiler breeding poultry near Slane in Co Meath. The 51-year-old is currently the IFA deputy president and Meath county chairman.
He was chairman of the farm business committee until 2007 and was co-opted back on to this committee until very recently.
He is also chairman of the IFA's farm inputs purchasing group, Buyways, and a Teagasc board member.
He points to his role negotiating with banks on behalf of farmers with credit difficulties, securing more favourable terms on leasing, Stamp Duty and Capital Gains Tax for partnerships, and his roles as 'the driving force' behind the IFA's fodder crisis team and as a spokesman during the horsemeat crisis as some of his key achievements to date.
His key campaign planks include:
* Fair prices. "We must insist on transparent pricing on beef, sheep, and pig and poultry meats. Milk farmers need to receive the full returns from the market place as it happens and not to experience a lag, as happened this summer," said Downey.
* Pillar II commitment from Government. "The Government must commit to fully match EU Pillar II funds.
"The exchequer gets a multiplier of 1.8 times on every euro that's invested," he said.