The controversy within IFA which was sparked by the association’s proposed involvement in a new online timber trading platform provoked tense exchanges at the farm body’s national council this week.

Three motions put forward by Wexford IFA’s chair Jer O’Mahony as a result of the proposed forestry deal were deferred until the next national council meeting.

O’Mahony said a commitment was made by IFA leadership to return to the forestry committee for “greater discussion and detail” on the proposed deal involving Tradeforus Forestry.

It is understood that the Wexford chair was asked to withdraw the three motions but it was eventually agreed that the motions would be deferred.

If the matter was not addressed with the forestry committee by senior IFA management the motions would return to the agenda at a later date, O’Mahony said.

The three motions stated that:

  • The IFA member services be directed that no negotiations regarding investment or support of private companies offering services in a given commodity area be entered into without the prior knowledge and majority agreement to enter such negotiations of the relevant commodity committee.
  • Any deal involving the IFA investing in a private company offering services in a given commodity area must receive the approval of that commodity committee before being signed off on.
  • [IFA] member services be instructed not to enter into any nondisclosure agreements which prevent the views of the relevant commodity committee being sought and considered.