Green MEP Ciaran Cuffe says he fully understands that farmers need to be able to access finance following a meeting with representatives from Macra na Feirme on Tuesday.
Cuffe met with Macra to discuss the controversial letters he sent to the CEOs of Ireland’s main banks, discouraging them from lending to farmers.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal following the meeting, Cuffe said: “I expressed regret on the wording of my letter to the banks.”
Cuffe described how he was impressed by the young farmers who presented to him an overview of their farm enterprises during the virtual meeting.
The “three to four” young farmers are understood to have demonstrated how accessing credit is an essential part of developing the on-farm infrastructure and adaptions needed to reduce agriculture’s carbon emissions.
Cuffe said: “We all agreed that we need to work within the parameters of the Government’s Climate Action Plan.”
Cuffe praised those involved for the “constructive” tone of the meeting and said it was “good to catch up” with Macra leadership following a similar meeting 16 months ago.
He said he hopes to join one of the young farmers who presented to him yesterday for a farm walk during the spring.
In a statement on Tuesday, Macra president John Keane said he accepted Ciaran Cuffe MEP’s apology and called on him to write new letters to those Irish banks he had previously contacted, clarifying his position on credit for farmers.