Healy calls for collective action on fertiliser prices
The new IFA president Joe Healy has called for collective action from farm leaders across Europe on fertiliser prices ahead of his inaugural address to the IFA AGM tomorrow.
The address is expected to focus on farm input costs as a key way of addressing the farm income situation, which some claim is already at crisis point.
Mr Healy is also expected to address the issues surrounding pay and governance that have over-shadowed the organisation since last November.
Meanwhile, Mr Healy pleaded with the 56 presidents of farming organisations across the EU to put the interests of farmers ahead of national industry interests.
"There is public opposition from Fertiliser Europe and from Poland and other countries seeking to protect their own fertiliser production. I am committed to gathering strong farmer support across Europe to resist attempts to keep import duties and deny badly-needed savings to farmers," he said.
A report commissioned by the IFA concluded that protection afforded to EU manufacturers through the application of anti-dumping duties of €33-47/t and customs tariffs of 6.5pc is costing farmers close to €1bn annually at a time when farm incomes are under extreme pressure.
In addition, the report found that the abolition of duties would deliver significant job creation in the wider EU rural economy of a minimum of 17,245 jobs and possibly of approximately 100,000 jobs in the best-case scenario.
Fertiliser is the third biggest input cost on EU farms accounting for €19.2bn in 2014. The EU fertiliser market is highly protected through the imposition of duties on non-EU imports. Analysis of Irish price data shows that fertiliser prices are out of line, increasing at twice the rate of other inputs since 1995.