Macra na Feirme members in attendance gave an overview of their farm enterprises and impressed on MEP Cuffe the important role access to credit plays in developing and improving their businesses. The members outlined that financial support was required to implement environmentally friendly practices, such as grazing infrastructure development, improved slurry storage facilities, and investments in implementing the best advice based on the MACC curve, like Low Emissions Slurry Spreading Equipment, amongst others.
Macra na Feirme National President John Keane outlined that for the past number of decades, access to credit has consistently been highlighted by young farmers as a key barrier in entering farming: “Our organization has consistently highlighted the lack of support for young farmers in addressing the access to credit issue. The statement by MEP Cuffe in his letter to single out young farmers has not helped in addressing the constant issue of access to credit”.
The Macra President asked MEP Cuffe to send a letter to the banks once more to clarify his position: “Macra na Feirme accepts MEP Cuffe’s apology on the matter. This meeting was constructive and positive with the overall message that we must all work together on these matters going forward”.