Spat will hurt IFA but could ultimately heal wounds
Why has the country's largest beef processor decided to back away from collecting levies for the farm organisations; and what are the long-term implications? These are the fundamental questions being asked this week following the very public spat between the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) and the Larry Goodman-owned Anglo Beef Processors.
The levy at the centre of the controversy is the European Involvement Levy (EIF), which was originally introduced in the early 1970s, after Ireland joined the then EEC, to support farmer representation and lobbying efforts in Brussels. It has since morphed into a major income source for farm organisations - particularly the IFA.
The levy is set at 0.1pc or €1 for every €1,000 in sales at marts and slaughter plants; and 0.15pc of all milk sales.