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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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IFA President Joe Healy has described the appeal by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed to the Agri-Food sector to make sure it is ready for Brexit, as “bizarre”.

He said, “Minister Creed’s appeal to businesses in the Agri-Food sector, ‘to make sure that they know exactly what they will need to do in a “No Deal” scenario, and make the necessary preparations now’, does not inspire farmers’ confidence at a time when we are facing a potential wipe-out”.

“It’s akin to the captain of a ship going to sea without any lifeboats for the passengers.”

“Neither the Minister, Taoiseach, Tánaiste nor any member of cabinet has been able to provide us with concrete details as to how farmers’ livelihoods will be safeguarded in the event of a crash-out Brexit. The Minister is saying nothing about his plans to protect Irish farmers, who are in the front line and the most exposed in Europe.”

The IFA President said, “IFA has set out clearly in our pre-Budget submission what is needed to prevent the sector from Armageddon. We are 90 days out from a potential no-deal Brexit, and the EU and the Government must commit to IFA’s package of measures, and support Ireland’s farmers”.

“The recent collapse of Sterling has already hit cattle prices. We are down 40c/kg or over €150 per head on this time last year, when prices had already been decimated. If we don’t have an EU support package in place and the UK crashes out in October, we are facing the potential wipe-out of beef production in this country,” he said.

Joe Healy called on Government to set out their plan for “No Deal”, rather than attempting to shift the focus from its lack of clarity around what will happen if Boris Johnson follows through on his threat to leave the EU on 31st October, deal or no deal.

IFA’s National Council and Livestock Committee members today (Wednesday 31st July), are holding a protest at the EU Food & Veterinary Offices, in Grange, Co. Meath.

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