ICMSA president Pat McCormack has praised Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed following the approval of a replacement ferry for Irish cattle exports to continental Europe.
Exporters had been facing difficulties when Stena Line withdrew one of its ferries for its annual overhaul.
Credit was due to the Minister, his officials and Stena Line for their efforts on this critical matter, said Mr McCormack this Wednesday.
Their success will now ensure that Irish livestock – particularly calves - will be able to be shipped to their markets over the coming weeks, he said.
Mr McCormack said that ICMSA had met directly with Minister Creed on the matter last week and had impressed upon him the absolute requirement that appropriate shipping was secured.
Farmers would welcome the reassurance the announcement provided, he said.
Mr McCormack noted that the peak calf trade was about to commence and the announcement that shipping facilities had been secured gave farmers vital options and should ensure a higher “floor” price for those calves.
He called on the live exporters and An Bord Bia to focus on maximising the benefits of this trade over the coming months.