New Taoiseach has to Front Up for Farming & Food Production
As the office of Taoiseach passes from Fianna Fáil to Fine Gael, IFA President Tim Cullinan said the Government has big decisions to make to secure the future of farming.
Tim Cullinan said the new Taoiseach needs to ‘front up’ for Irish farming and food production and ensure we focus on how we can develop the sector in a sustainable way, rather than allowing a vocal minority to undermine it.
“Farming is the bedrock of the rural economy and our most important indigenous sector. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar needs to front up for the sector and ensure we have the right balance between environmental, economic and social sustainability,” he said.
“Farmers are frustrated with what they see as the ‘tail wagging the dog’ in the Government,” he said.
He wished Leo Varadkar well as he takes up the role of Taoiseach from Micheál Martin as part of the agreement in the Programme for Government.
“I want to acknowledge the contribution of Micheál Martin, particularly his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he said.
He also wished Charlie McConalogue well on his re-appointment as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
“We held a lengthy engagement with the Minister during the week. We made it clear that we were prepared to engage to agree progressive policies for agriculture. It’s important that the Minister seeks agreement with farmers on the way forward and that he has real ambition for the sector,” he said.
IFA also met Leo Varadkar recently and set out the key issues for the sector. “The Government needs to focus on the sustainable development of the agriculture sector to encourage ambitious young people into farming,” he said.
The IFA President said the Association would work with the new Government to ensure the views of farmers are taken on board.