History shows crisis management tools take months to activate – Carthy
Emergency Brexit measures need to be outlined urgently, MEP Matt Carthy has said.

While there are some structures in place to deal with a market crisis caused by Brexit, Irish MEP Matt Carthy has said that emergency support measures must be outlined immediately.

“Many crisis management tools require disruption across EU markets, not just in one, and we know from experience of the dairy crisis from 2014-2016 that many of these tools take months to activate, and longer even after that to actually arrive in farmers’ pockets.

"By the time potential support is received, severe damage has already happened at farm level,” Carthy said.

The European Commissioner for Agriculture has assured Irish farmers that the European Commission will protect them from the impact of UK tariffs.

However, Matt Carthy says he has asked Hogan if the Commission has already launched preliminary studies on the adverse impact of Brexit on the Irish agriculture sector.

“It is still too soon to say what specific form any EU assistance could take, not least as the circumstances in which the UK will leave the EU are not yet known nor what the exact economic consequences of the departure will be,” was the answer from Commissioner Hogan on behalf of the EU Commission.

Incredible

“It is incredible that we are now days away from a potential no-deal Brexit and Commissioner Hogan is still saying it is too soon to make a call on what market support measures will be at Ireland’s disposal,” Carthy said.

“The Irish Government needs to up its game; they need to spell out to the commission that a wait-and-see approach is not good enough. They need to force the Commission to come forward with genuine options in the nightmare scenario of a no-deal Brexit.”

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Kildare farmer's plea for information on stolen trailer
Several incidents of trailer theft have been reported across the country in recent weeks.

A 5x10 Nugent trailer has been stolen from a farm near the Curragh, Co Kildare. The trailer was purchased new from CM Plant Sales Ltd with the company branding still on the sides.

The Kildare farmers initials ‘AD’ are stamped on the trailer in several places and the local Garda branch at Newbridge has been notified of the chassis number.

Anyone who has seen the trailer or can help with its recovery is asked to contact Newbridge Garda station on 045 431 212.

Series of thefts

Cattle, trailers, quads and many more agricultural assets have been stolen from farms across rural Ireland in recent weeks. Just last month a quad was stolen from a Co Meath farm.

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Appeal for information over cattle stolen in February

Trailer stolen from Offaly sheep farmer

Agricultural businesses in the running for €40,000 enterprise awards prize fund
The National Enterprise Awards celebrate Ireland’s small businesses with specific awards included, focusing on start-ups, innovation and exports.

Agricultural businesses are in the running for the investment prize fund of €40,000 at the National Enterprise Awards Finals on 29 May. The awards, an initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, celebrate Ireland’s small businesses from all across the country with specific awards focusing on start-ups, innovation and exports.

Last year’s winners Terra NutriTech are an AgTech company, backed by Local Enterprise Office Kildare. Established by brothers Padraig and Tom Hennessy, their company specialises in precision liquid supplementation for livestock.

Brothers Tom and Padraig Hennessy of Terra NutriTech who announced a €2m investment, expansion into six countries in 2019 and plans to double their workforce by 2021. \ Jeff Harvey

Since winning in 2018, Terra NutriTech have become a client company of Enterprise Ireland, adding a further seven staff and hope to double their workforce by 2021 following a recent €2m investment.

“It is much more than just awards. The businesses involved avail of mentoring and guidance as the process develops and generate connections and leads from other businesses along the way.

"They also receive signposting for their business helping them to move their company forward, irrespective of whether they win an award,” Breda Fox, chair of the National Enterprise Awards Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices, said.

“Those who do take part always see the benefit. Our winners are now employing over 830 people and are exporting across the world with annual revenues in excess of €130m.”

Finalists

Agricultural finalists:

  • Clonmel Covers, Tipperary: manufacturing windbreakers for farm buildings, as well as waterproof covers for trucks, boats and machine covers.
  • NeighbourFood, Cork city: an online platform that facilitates the sale of local products direct from producers to consumers by means of a weekly collection point. With 13 locations currently across the UK and Ireland, NeighbourFood hopes to have nationwide collection points by the end of 2019.
  • VirtualVet, Waterford: an international data management company that tracks drug usage in animals in the food chain. VirtualVet and agricultural food partners work together to change drug use behaviour in the food chain.
  • Class Grass Limited T/A The Field, Roscommon: supplies a range of hand-crafted model toy field products to Irish, UK, European and US markets.
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    EU adopts new rules on fertiliser quality and safety
    The new fertiliser rules will cover all types of fertiliser in the EU and will set limits on contaminants such as cadmium.

    The EU has adopted new rules for fertiliser products placed on the European market aimed at ensuring their quality and safety.

    The regulation harmonises the requirements for fertilisers produced from phosphate minerals and from organic or secondary raw materials. It sets limits for contaminants in fertiliser such as cadmium and outlines labelling requirements.

    Cadmium and other fertiliser contaminants can potentially pose a risk to human, animal and plant health as well as the environment.

    Rules

    Nearly half of the fertilisers on the EU market are not covered by the existing legislation, the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation. Existing rules cover mainly conventional fertilisers, typically extracted from mines or produced chemically while the new regulation will cover all types of fertiliser.

    The Romanian Minister of Economy Niculae Badalau, who oversaw the passing of the regulation, said: “These new rules will ensure that only fertilisers that meet high quality and safety EU-wide requirements and standards can be sold freely across the EU.”

    Fertilisers which fulfil the new requirements will bear the "CE" marking and benefit from free circulation in the internal market of the EU. Fertilisers that do not bear the CE marking will still have the possibility of placing them on their national market.

    The limits for cadmium content in CE-marked phosphate fertilisers will be 60mg/kg.

    Organic fertilisers

    The regulation should prove a boost to the production and use of phosphate fertilisers with low cadmium content and of organic fertilisers. Minister Badalau said it would provide a greater choice to farmers oriented towards more environmental-friendly agriculture.

    The regulations will now be signed and published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Following its publication it will enter into force after 20 days and start applying from three years after that.

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    New EU fertiliser regulations now in place