Banks urged to support farmers during volatility
AGRICULTURE Minister Michael Creed hit out at the lack of a "functioning competitive banking market" as he launched a €55m interest free cashflow support scheme for Glanbia's dairy and tillage farmers.
Mr Creed said he would be meeting the heads of the pillar banks in the coming weeks to urge them to "display forbearance as they deal with individual farmers".
"Cash flow and the cost of credit to the farming community is not what it should be," the Minister said.
"We do not have an effective functioning competitive banking market," said Mr Creed.
He added that he hoped the move by Glanbia Co-op to offer farmers the ability to drawdown cash flow support when milk or grain prices dip below 'triggers' would help increase competition.
Mr Creed said he hoped the pillar banks would act as the cost of credit was too high compared with other European countries.
The Minister said there was "no silver bullet that we can fire to resolve" the price volatility with farming produce but they were looking at a whole series of initiatives.
Glanbia's group managing director, Siobhan Talbot ,said the Glanbia Advance Payment (GAP) Scheme running until December 2020 was about sustaining suppliers "through the low part of cycles" as the dairy and grain markets were cyclical.