Speaking at the Poultry Industry Education Trust Conference on this week in Cookstown, IFA National Poultry Committee Chair Nigel Sweetnam called for cross border co-operation on education in the poultry sector for the island of Ireland.
“The conference highlighted the huge void that has built up with a lack of youth entering the industry over the past number of years. The poultry industry has lost its shine and needs to be reinvigorated,” Nigel Sweetnam said.
“Across the whole island we are looking at an aging farmer profile which must be addressed. I want to acknowledge the excellent work being done by Rebecca Tierney in Teagasc for the sector and am asking that the recently launched poultry apprenticeship scheme gets greater support from industry and government,” he added.
“Education begins with children, something that we can sometimes be overlooked but must be valued. Therefore, it is vital we have a balanced approach to primary and secondary school education around food and nutritional education. All stakeholders need to take responsibility and teach the younger generation where their food comes from and enable them to appreciate the value of all food produce,” Nigel Sweetnam concluded.