• The Government’s blanket closure of all marts is disappointing given that the marts, that had remained open, had put significant effort and finances into staying open in a safe way while still enabling farmers to trade their animals.

    That’s according to ICOS –Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd, a group that represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts.

    Co-Op marts are owned by farmers and exist for farmers and ICOS is urging any farmer wanting to buy or sell livestock to contact their local mart manager as he/she can still arrange for the marketing of animals, albeit as the Government has decreed, they cannot market them through the physical auction sales ring. 

    ICOS is calling on the Government to now reconsider the ANC retention periods, as a matter of urgency, as if marts are now closed to a minimum of 19th of April then complying with the current 7 month retention period will be a problem.

    It insists that basic payment schemes and ANCs will never be more critical for farmers to comply with, in order to secure these payments, and  says the DAFM should prioritise this change immediately to alleviate the situation.

  • Marts will remain open today, according to Mart Managers of Ireland (MMI)

    The Irish Farmers Journal says marts are putting a limit on the number of people that can attend sales ringside, as concerns over the coronavirus outbreak grow.

    The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) has announced that mart sales should be limited to 100 people. “The number of people attending individual mart ringsides at any one time will be limited to 100, which will be managed on a strict rotation system, ie using admission cards which will be rotated among patrons at the entrance/exit to the mart ringside or other such monitoring methods as devised by the mart,” ICOS said.

    MMI chair Eimear McGuinness says they are asking anyone that has no business in the mart to please stay away from them. 

  • The Agriculture Minister has allowed some trading to continue at marts - despite the Covid-19 crisis.

    The Irish Farmers Association has welcomed this morning's announcement.

    Normal mart activity was banned last weekend when the Taoiseach's announced new restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    But this morning, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed says some services can continue at marts.

    He says mart managers can facilitate the sale of animals in some circumstances.

    A farmer can deliver calves to the mart, by appointment, and the mart can facilitate the sale.

    For older livestock, the mart can also allow a deal between a buyer and seller, in specific circumstances.

    Minister Creed says the measures will allow the food chain to be maintained - and protect animals' welfare.

    But he says normal mart auction activity can't resume until further notice.


  • A Roscommon-Galway TD insists it's vital that agricultural marts aren't forced to close because of the coronavirus crisis.

    There have been calls for marts to close, because of the restrictions on mass gatherings.

    The Irish Co-Operative Organisation Society says they can proceed, but are limited to 100 people.

    Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says marts and factories need to stay open to keep the food chain going....