Speaking following the announcement on Tuesday 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.

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.