IFA National Livestock Chair Brendan Golden said the progress report provided to the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue of the Food Vision Beef Group clearly identifies the importance of ensuring the economic viability of the sector in order to contribute to emission reductions.
Brendan Golden said it must be borne in mind we have witnessed a significant reduction in suckler cow numbers over the past 10 years and the objective of this group and of the measures set out for discussion must be to provide for an economically viable suckler and beef herd that can play a positive role in the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of our rural communities.
The IFA National Livestock Chair said the level of ambition for the sector will be determined by the level of new funding available from Government to implement measures at farms level, suckler and beef farmers do not have the financial capacity to invest in measures that may or may not deliver return in the longer term, we are not prepared to take these risks.
He said the Minister McConalogue must come forward as a matter of urgency with clear commitments on the levels of new funding available for the sector to progress discussions on the various measures proposed by the Department of Agriculture to the group.
IFA have sought a meeting with the Minister for Agriculture on the funding levels that will be available.
Brendan Golden said decisions have not been taken on any measures for the sector and will not be taken until the Minister comes clean on the levels of funding available for farmers.