Farm bodies compromised on levies - 65pc of farmers claim
Minister Coveney slated over 'poor' response to ongoing crisis in beef sector
Almost two-thirds of farmers believe the collection of levies by meat processors and dairies compromises the independence of farm organisations in their dealings with these businesses.
However, a major survey of farmer attitudes has found that farmers are divided on whether their representative bodies should continue to use levies to fund their operations.
The survey of 1,009 farmers was carried out by the Farming Independent at last week's National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois.
It also highlighted considerable farmer dissatisfaction with the performance of the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, in relation to the beef crisis, with two-thirds of drystock farmers describing his response as 'fairly poor' or 'very poor'.
Among the questions asked was whether farmers believed the collection of levies by meat and dairy processors compromised the independence of farm organisations in their interactions with these businesses.
Close to two-thirds or 65pc of respondents believed farm organisations were compromised by this practice and answered 'yes', with 23.5pc disagreeing and stating 'no', while 11.5pc 'didn't know'.
However, despite farmer reservations about processors collecting levies, there is also a realisation that farm organisations need the funds.