IFA President Eddie Downey has welcomed assurances provided by Environment Minister Phil Hogan that forthcoming climate laws will not restrict the sustainable growth of the sector.
Speaking after a meeting with Minister Hogan, Eddie Downey said, “Farmers in Ireland have a proven and undisputed record of producing some of the most emission efficient food in the world. This is a key strength which has the ability to drive future demand for our produce internationally. Minister Hogan’s understanding of this is important. The forthcoming climate laws must be about driving improved efficiency and returns for farmers, not meaningless and divisive sectoral targets”.
IFA National Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston called for greater flexibility in the implementation of the nitrates regulations and reduced compliance burdens on farmers by ensuring a more streamlined approach is taken to the implementation of the regulations.
On the issue of water charges, Harold Kingston said, “IFA has called for a reduction in the cost of water for large scale water users. Farm families who get their water from a public water supply have paid for water for many years. With increased numbers paying for water, it is only right that the cost burden is reduced to those who currently pay”.
IFA has also called on local authorities to exempt farm developments from development charges where the building is taking place to comply with national and EU legislation. Local authorities have also been encouraged to support local farmers by developing a local food procurement policy.