IFA isolated in levy battle with Goodman's ABP
Farming organisations are unlikely to get any political backing in their battle with Larry Goodman's ABP over the collection of levies at meat factories.
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) views the ending of automatic levies as an attack on its income base, while the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) fear that its ability to fight for the welfare of farm families will be reduced.
However, Fianna Fáil's Éamon Ó Cuív told the Irish Independent that the current system, which attaches levies to all transactions at marts, beef and sheep meat processors and dairies, was wrong.
Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said if the IFA was forced to ask farmers for contributions, then it "might start giving them proper representation".
The Department of Agriculture has distanced itself from the row, saying it is "entirely between ABP and the IFA".
At a meeting on Wednesday, ABP informed the IFA of plans to introduce an 'opt-in' model for those farmers who wish to continue to pay into the European Investment Fund (EIF).
It is estimated that ABP collects close to €400,000 for the farm organisations each year.
More than 90pc of the money is believed to go to the IFA, while the ICMSA is understood to receive an estimated €100,000 a year. If other companies and co-ops were to follow ABP's lead, the IFA would face losses of up to €4.7m.