An IFA delegation led by President Tim Cullinan met with Minister Charlie McConalogue last night to discuss the Food Vision Groups, the upcoming Climate Action Plan and other key issues.
“The Food Vision group reports were not agreed by IFA or any other farming group. It would be wrong for the Minister to move ahead unilaterally,” he said.
“IFA made it clear to the Minister that IFA is willing to engage further to try and find agreement around a Climate Action Plan for the sector,” he said.
“There is a real danger that the Minister and the Government are going to do real damage to our sector to meet a short-term target, while technological advancements in the sector could well help us achieve our 2030 targets,” he said.
“We also pointed out that changes to the Nitrates derogation, since the Food Vision Groups were established, will impact output, cow numbers and will have unintended consequences for every sector as it is already driving up prices for land rental,” he said.
“Farmers are seeing this, along with the new CAP and several other measures introduced by this Government, as being an attempt to reduce livestock numbers by stealth,” he said.
“Last night we also discussed the proposed EU Restoration Law and the Sustainable Use Directive on pesticide proposed by the EU Commission. Both of these have the potential to devastate Irish agriculture. We need our Government to stand up for Irish farming on these issues,” he said.
Other issues discussed included the need to provide funding for all 46,000 ACRES applicants; dog control; the Residential Zoned Land Tax; CAP payments for tillage farmers with leased land, the establishment of the Wool Council and the Office of Fairness and Transparency in the food supply chain.