Addressing the World Farmers’ Conference in Milan this week, IFA President Eddie Downey said the climate change talks in Paris later this year will have to recognise the importance of supporting sustainable food production, and reach an agreement that promotes policies so countries like Ireland, which has the capacity and resources to grow food production sustainably, are allowed to do so.
Eddie Downey said Ireland is a world leader in sustainable production and the challenge for the Paris talks is to agree a framework that is fair and balanced in terms of food security and climate change. He said there must be joined-up thinking and other issues such as water resource availability must be fully taken into the debate on climate change.
The IFA President said he will be looking for support among his WFO colleagues for an approach that takes the multi-functional role of agriculture into account. “Given the projected increase in the world population and the growing demand for our food products, the talks in Paris must focus on delivering a climate policy that supports carbon-efficient food production. The carbon sequestration potential of agricultural soils, forestry and bioenergy will have to be factored in.”
Eddie Downey also discussed the work he is doing as Chairman of the Food Chain Committee in COPA and said strong retailer legislation will be needed across the world if there is to be an effective re-balancing of power within the food chain.