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Monday 18 February 2019

Farmers are urged to delay big investment plans until 'fog clears'

Target talk: Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton addresses the IFA AGM watched by IFA president Joe Healy. PHOTO: FINBARR O’ROURKE
Target talk: Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton addresses the IFA AGM watched by IFA president Joe Healy. PHOTO: FINBARR O’ROURKE
John Donoghue: Chief executive of farm accountancy group IFAC
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Farmers have been warned to hold off on any significant investment decisions until the Brexit "fog clears".

Farming, food and agri-business accountancy group IFAC has said supply chains and logistics will be severely disrupted by a hard Brexit and they should be restructured as a matter of urgency.

John Donoghue, chief executive of IFAC, said businesses should carry out a full financial review immediately to ensure that sufficient bank supported financing is in place for at least the next 12 to 18 months.

"We are working hard with clients to put their Brexit plans in place, the sector needs all the support it can get right now," he said.

He welcomed comments made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD that the Government has alerted the European Commission of its intention to seek emergency aid for the beef, dairy and fishing sectors in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"This commitment of the Taoiseach to secure emergency EU aid for Irish farmers in the event of a no-deal Brexit is very welcome news for a sector that is under massive pressure," said Mr Donoghue.

"IFAC offices around the country have been working hard with clients in recent weeks to address their Brexit concerns; farmers, food and agri-businesses are particularly worried about how they can protect their incomes and businesses if a no-deal Brexit becomes a reality.

"Developments in Westminster overnight aren't helping drive any confidence that a disorderly Brexit can be avoided. A crash-out Brexit feels within touching distance and that, for the Irish farming, food and agri-business sector is the nightmare scenario.

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"The sector is one of Ireland's largest employers and the bedrock of the rural economy with an estimated one in seven jobs outside of the Greater Dublin Area," he said.

"We must now put a protective ring around the sector and the many thousands of jobs it creates and sustains.

"IFAC Brexit teams are advising clients to hold off on all significant investment decisions until the Brexit fog clears."

Meanwhile, Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton told the Irish Farmers' Association AGM that farmers will face targets not quotas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Targets to reduce carbon emissions would be in line with maintaining a prosperous farming sector.

Irish Independent





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