2013-02-01 xml
Farm Income Statistics Confirm Grain Trade Message

The farm income statistics issued by DARD have confirmed the messages delivered to the industry by the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association over recent months according to Robin Irvine, NIGTA Chief Executive.

“Our members are in a very good position to see at first hand the impact of increased costs, bad weather and product prices which do not reflect these increased costs of production.


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In our presentations to MLA’s at the Agriculture committee, to our MEP’s , to DARD and along with the Ulster Farmers Union to the main banking businesses we have highlighted the threat posed by feed prices which increased by 30% during 2012. Food inflation has not reflected these increased costs and farmers find themselves in an unsustainable position.”

The food industry is vital to Northern Ireland and it is totally dependent on a healthy supply base. The great potential of this industry cannot be realised without profitable, sustainable primary production at farm level.

The income forecasts for 2012/13 highlight that there is no early recovery expected – further income reductions in the coming months are inevitable and many farms will be depending on good weather and an early spring.

With trade credit is running at unprecedented levels as we go through the second half of this winter it is obvious that a significant number of farm businesses will not be able to meet their running costs.

Many of these businesses are technically viable and potentially profitable but simply do not have the cash or the necessary management skills to carry them through the next few months.

Support is badly needed on many farms - the issues are not about husbandry or technical performance but about management of money and financial survival. The ability to live with volatility and manage through difficult times is going to be the difference between success or failure.

The greatest threat to our industry is in that to confidence and in particular to the confidence of our young people and those who have not yet committed to their career in the food industry.


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