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IFA President Joe Healy has said that retailers and the EU Commission must be included in the talks that the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has convened for tomorrow.

Speaking at the Tullamore Show today (Sun), Joe Healy said, “While the factories are the main problem, the retailer has a dominant role in the dysfunctional food chain that is not working for beef farmers. They need to be around the table tomorrow to account for their actions and to outline how they intend to address the problem”.

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IFA National Dairy Chairman, Tom Phelan said the July PPI reduction of 0.7 points announced today by Ornua, which is equivalent to a milk price of 30.9c/l including VAT, still leaves room for the majority of co-ops to hold their July milk price, at the very worst.

“Apart from the West Cork co-ops, all milk purchasing co-ops have undershot the Ornua PPI in the milk price they have returned to farmers for most of the last eight months,” Mr Phelan said.

“Despite the fact that Irish supply is up by 10%, global milk supplies for the first half of the year are down; Germany (-1.5% on May and -1.4% in June), France (-1.6% in May and – 0.2% in June) and Dutch milk output, still moderated by herd reduction, is down 2.7% for the January to May period. Heatwaves in June and July are compounding these figures.

“Demand remains relatively good in Asia, South America, the EU and the US,” he added.

“Concerns over the potential impact of economic and geopolitical factors that have yet to materialise is not a good enough reason to deny Irish farmers for several months a milk price fully justified by market returns,” he said.

“Co-ops will be meeting to set milk prices from next week and they should be able, at the very minimum, to hold prices at their current levels,” he concluded.

IFA President Joe Healy has described the move by Meat Industry Ireland to take legal action as heavy-handed, ill-advised and counterproductive in terms of finding a solution to the very serious issues affecting beef farmers.

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Thomas Cooney, IFA Environment Chairman has rejected Green Party calls for less of Ireland’s sustainable dairy and beef produce, as a solution to the climate challenge.

He said, “The Green Party’s continuous attack on our national herd lacks climate credibility. Farmers in Ireland have a proud climate record, with the European Union’s Joint Research Centre confirming that our dairy farmers are number one and our beef farmers are in the top five when it comes to climate friendly food production. This is important, as the UN IPCC’s report published today (Thursday) recognises that “there is a need to produce about 50% more food by 2050 in order to feed the increasing world population.” The report also highlights that this will lead to “significant increases in GHG emissions” driven by a 6-21% increase in the area of land cleared for cropland.

Cheap shots at Ireland’s dairy and beef farmers demonstrates ignorance of the fact, that demand for protein rich foods produced in Ireland will increase. Therefore, climate advocates have two choices: either back Ireland’s grass-based, carbon friendly model of food production, or support the on-going clear-felling of the Amazonian and other forested regions to create new croplands to meet the increase demand for food.”

Thomas Cooney has expressed his frustration at the Green Party’s failure to back IFA’s calls for a fairer farmers’ share of the retail price of their produce.  “The Green Party has not supported IFA’s call for a ban on below cost selling of farm produce. It has also failed to support the introduction of a retail ombudsman who would bring transparency to the profiteering and sharp practices in the food supply chain, which leave farmers getting 20% of the retail price of food they produce.

It’s time our politicians started to respect the premium product Irish farmers produce and introduce legislation, which ends profiteering of others in the food chain.”

 

Ends.

 

Contact:

Niall Madigan                (01) 450 1931/ 086 822 8635

Ethel Horan                          (01) 426 0344/ 087 910 4111

 

IFA’s National Council debated the current beef and farm income crisis at its most recent meeting on July 19th.

IFA President Joe Healy said several different strategies were discussed. The Council considered many factors including the current beef price and depressed market conditions across Europe and in the UK, and the increasing risk of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on October 31st.

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