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Westmeath Topic - 15 February 2018


30 NEWS TOPIC • 15 February, 2017 2018 ANNUAL HUNT BALL There were scenes of glitz and glamour at the Bloomfield House Hotel recently for the 2018 Annual Hunt Ball. The evening was a great success with attendees from across the midlands attending the event which took place on Saturday, 3 February. Below are just a few snaps from the big night. 087 606 4775 Digger & Lorry Hire also available Mullingar Marquees Est. 2011 9m x 4m Commercial Grade Marquees. The perfect venue for all occasions • Birthday • Christenings • Communions • Confirmation Rental from €250/Night Call Paul now for a quotation on 044 9310203 / 086 8347183 Visit us at Veronica Snagdrova, Tom Geoghegan, and Brona Kelly pictrued at the 2018 Annual Hunt Ball at the Bloomfield House Hotel recently. Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Karen Griffin, Aine Moran, and Adrian Daly pictured at the Hunt Ball on Saturday, 3 February. THE SAWDOCTORS Saw Doctors Tree Care Ltd, Mullingar • All aspects of tree care. • Hedge cutting • Specialist Machinery • Private and commercial clients - • Experienced, highly skilled and NPTC qualified NO JOB TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL Emily Taylor, Jimmy Cullen, Alison Mortell and Doreen Dowdall pictured at the Annual Hunt Ball in the Bloomfield on Saturday, 3 February. Linda Corbett and Denise O’Brien pictured at the Hunt Ball in the Bloomfield. FOR A NO OBLIGATION FREE PROFESSIONAL QUOTE FIREWOOD FOR SALE Delivered in Mullingar and surrounding areas. FULLY INSURED Tel: Jarlath 087 4194844 Jennifer Draper and Laura Gibson-Brabson pictured at the Bloomfield for the Annual Hunt Ball. Dominic Crognale, Amy Fitzpatrick, Hanna Wentges, and Richard Bonham at the Bloomfield for the 2018 Annual Hunt Ball. • Flyers • Programmes • Calendars • Docket Books • Draw Cards • Letterheads • Posters • Newsletters • Loyalty Cards • Lotto Tickets FOR ALL YOUR PRINTING REQUIREMENTS Call the experts Topic Print 044 934 8868 Paul Birchall, Eimear Delaney, Niamh Fagan, Siofra Pratt, Ceoladh Pratt, and Conor Scally at Bloomfield for the Annual Hunt Ball.

TOPIC • 15 February, 2018 McGUINNESS URGES FARMERS TO GET INVOLVED IN DISCUSSIONS ON REORIENTATION OF COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY Discussions about the future reorientation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020 are underway with the European Parliament agriculture committee debating the latest communication from the EU Commission, Mairead McGuinness, MEP for Offaly and first Vice-President of the European Parliament told the annual Lismullin farming seminar held at the end of January. “The central thrust of the communication would see less Brussels control of the details of the CAP at ground level with more responsibility vested in member states to shape the details to suit national conditions and requirements,” she said. “This is a potentially significant shift and comes from a desire by the Commission to address the view that there is too much central control by Brussels of the CAP.” She said the implementation of the greening requirements was very much Brussels led and resulted in difficulties when it came to the practical application at farm level. “Member states differ from each other, so there is a certain logic in enabling them to tailor the details to meet national specificities. “The concept of a new CAP is moving towards asking farmers to deliver on certain objectives set at EU level, but giving each country the freedom in how these objectives might best be achieved,” she said. “BLAMING BRUSSELS” McGuinness also stated that farmers need to make their views known about this proposed loosening of the centralised control of the CAP by ‘Brussels’, towards a more national approach. “The idea is meeting with mixed reaction in the European Parliament and member states. “For farmers it should mean that the Department of Agriculture takes responsibility for detail and there would be less of an issue in terms of “blaming Brussels”. The budget for the CAP is also in sharp focus with a determination to resist cuts post 2020. “New policy needs like security and migration will need funding but this must be additional money and not taken from existing policy lines,” Ms McGuinness said. “The full budgetary impact of Brexit will not be known for some time, but there will be an impact.” She urged farmers to attend meetings on the future of the CAP organised by the Department of Agriculture. CARTHY RAISES CONCERNS OF PIG FARMERS Action on Unfair Trading Practices for farmers "still a long way off” Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, and Donegal Senator, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, have received a response from Commissioner Hogan to a letter they co-signed on the relentless reductions in the prices obtained by pig farmers. Speaking on the lack of commitment outlined by the Commissioner in his response, Carthy said: “Last month Seanadóir MacLochlainn and I wrote to Commissioner Hogan highlighting that relentless pig price reductions were unacceptable. “Pigmeat farmers have seen their prices reduce the last three months to loss-making levels. Irish pig farmers produce meat to the highest standards, and it is unacceptable to see prices dropping below what is sustainable or fair for their efforts.” Mr Carthy believes that farmers are currently in a precarious position and following deliberations, the pair wrote a letter calling on Commissioner Hogan to not only remove sensitive agricultural produce from the ongoing Mercosur trade negotiations, but to come forward with meaningful legislative proposals to protect the bargaining position of farmers vis-avis meat processing companies. BELOW COST BUYING Mr Carthy stated that continuous periods of below cost buying is an “unfair trading practice that in previous crises has forced many farmers to exit the sector.” He stated, “The Commissioner has nothing to hide behind. There have now been five European Parliament Resolutions calling for action on UTPs, most recently in 2016. There have been three European Commission Communications, one Green Paper and the results of the Agricultural Markets Task Force, all recommending concrete policies and legislative initiatives to protect farmers’ position in the food supply chain. “The response we have received from Commissioner Hogan today confirms that there is still no commitment for much needed binding legislation, which was originally thought to arrive early this year. The Commissioner says that he is waiting for the results of an Impact Assessment and that measures “may” be proposed. “It is inconceivable that two years after MEPs called for action on UTPs, there has been nothing forthcoming. Sinn Féin representatives at national and EU level will continue to press for a fairer position for our farming communities,” he concluded. PRESENTATION TO OUTGOING IFA CHAIRMAN FOR “OUTSTANDING COMMITMENT” FARMING 31 ICMSA welcome confirmation that shipping for live cattle exports has been secured Speaking following the recent announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine that a replacement ship has been approved to transport livestock to continental Europe, the President of ICMSA, Pat McCormack, said that credit was due to the Minister, his officials and Stena Line for their efforts on this critical matter and their success will now ensure that Irish livestock – particularly calves - will be able to be shipped to their markets over the coming weeks. Mr McCormack said that ICMSA had met directly with Minister Creed this matter last week and had impressed upon him the absolute requirement that appropriate shipping was secured and farmers hearing the news would welcome the reassurance it provided. Mr McCormack noted that the peak calf trade is just about to commence and the announcement that shipping facilities have been secured gives the farmers vital options and should ensure a higher ‘floor’ price for those calves. He concluded by calling on the live exporters and An Bord Bia to focus on maximising the benefits of this trade over the coming months. GLANBIA ANNOUNCES MILK PRICE FOR JANUARY SUPPLIES Glanbia Ireland has decided to hold its milk price and will pay its suppliers 35c/L including VAT for January manufacturing milk supplies at 3.6% butterfat and 3.3% protein. Glanbia Ireland chairman Henry Corbally said: “While there have been some welcome improvements in market sentiment in recent weeks, current market returns continue to significantly lag our farm-gate milk price. The board will continue to monitor market developments on a monthly basis.” Other co-ops are set to announce their milk prices in the coming days. GLANBIA CO-OP TRAD- ING BONUS Corbally reminded milk suppliers of the 2018 Trading Bonus Scheme recently announced by Glanbia Coop. The scheme will reward farmer members of the coop for purchases made from Glanbia Ireland. For milk supplier members of the co-op, the new 2018 Trading Bonus is potentially worth up to 0.75c/L on all milk delivered in 2018, Glanbia has said. The Milk Supplier Trading Bonus is worth up to €3,750 to a 500,000L supplier spending over 7c/L with Glanbia Ireland this year, the company has claimed. All 2018 purchases made from Glanbia Ireland – feed, fertilizer, veterinary medicines, dairy hygiene products and farm hardware etc – are included in the calculation. At the end of 2018, the total spend will be divided by the total litres of milk delivered to generate a cent per litre input spend. The Trading Bonus Scheme is funded from Glanbia Co-op’s 60% share of the dividend paid by Glanbia Ireland to its shareholders in January 2018. Corbally also thanked the farmers that attended the recent series of Glanbia information meetings, which numbered nearly 1,000. ORNUA PPI HOLDS FOR JANUARY Yesterday it was revealed that the Ornua Purchase Price Index (PPI) for January remains unchanged at 111.3. It reflects reduced returns for butter and skimmed milk powder (SMP), offset by less lowerpriced spot purchases in the month compared to December. This equates to 33.6c/L including VAT, based on Ornua’s product purchase mix and assumed costs of 6.5c/L. This follows on from last month’s drop in index for December supplies; the index for the last month of 2017 dropped from 115.0 to 111.3, bringing to an end six consecutive monthly increases in 2017. - Peter Burke T.D. Working on behalf of the Community Pictured is a presentation being made to outgoing Chairman of Offaly Co Executive IFA John Keena for his outstanding commitment and contribution to IFA both locally and nationally. John has completed a four year term as Co Chairman. From left to right are IFA President Joe Healy, Offaly IFA President Tom Loonam, John Keena, Richard Scally (newly elected chairman Offaly IFA) Pat Walsh Vice Chair and John Walsh Offaly IFA Co Secretary. Constituency Office Blackhall Court, Blackhall, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Tel 044 9385044 Mob: 087 7941888 Email:

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