IFA Livestock Chair Brendan Golden, IFA Sheep Chair Kevin Comiskey and Senior Policy Executive on Livestock Tomás Bourke met recently with their counterparts from NFU, NFU Scotland, NFU Wales and the Ulster Farmers Union.
The meeting in London was an opportunity to discuss a range of issues impacting on drystock farmers here and across the UK.
The main focus of the discussion centred on the current market situation and the savage increase in farm inputs, which is without doubt the biggest and most immediate threat to the sector.
Brendan Golden said, “These soaring input costs risk eroding producer confidence and our productive capacity, which is hard to replace. We need strong intervention from the Government to support farmers through this”.
On climate action, he said a balance has to be struck, and we need to ensure food security stays front and centre in the minds of our Government and consumers.
“We need to ensure that we are measuring and accounting in a consistent way that takes reflects the role that grazing livestock play in maintaining biodiversity and sequestering carbon.”
Kevin Comiskey raised the issue of wool markets with our UK counterparts and will be following up with further discussions with a view to identifying ways to increase the value of wool for farmers.
Concluding, the IFA Livestock and Sheep Chairs said the discussions with the farming unions were productive. Farmers are facing similar challenges to ourselves and it is important we continue to work together in the interests of all farmers.