The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) has called on the Data Protection Commissioner to investigate reports that the IFA levies structure is in breach of GDPR guidelines.
“At a very minimum, levies should only be collected from those who have opted in,” president of the ICSA Patrick Kent said.
“However, this new proposal to force farmers to sign a no-levies document which will then become a blacklist sent to IFA is outrageous.”
I am calling on the Data Protection Commissioner to pro-actively investigate what is going on here
Assessed at a rate of around €1.50 per €1,000 of sales, the levy was worth €3.2m to the IFA last year.
Kent added that legal advice he had received instructed that levies should only be deducted on an opt-in basis.
“There is no way that a farmer can be compelled to sign an opt-out of levies form in respect of livestock or produce supplied to a mart or processor, when it is clear that such confidential information will then be forwarded to IFA.
“I am therefore calling on the Data Protection Commissioner to pro-actively investigate what is going on here and explain to all farmers just what their rights are under GDPR.”
Data Protection Commissioner
The IFA has stated that they take their responsibilities under GDPR very seriously and have robust policies in place which are based on legal advice.
The IFA has also sought a meeting with the Data Protection Commissioner on the issue.