IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney has called on Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and Local Government Minister Simon Coveney to accept the significant investment farmers have made in bringing farms up to the highest environmental standards, and to use the review of the nitrates regulations as an opportunity to support the sector to sustainably deliver the objectives of Food Wise 2025.
Speaking at the start of the review of the regulations today, Thomas Cooney said, “Over €2bn has been spent on slurry storage and on ensuring that farmyards are at the highest environmental standards. This has paid dividend. It is now time to use this to make the nitrates regulations more workable.
“I recently met with Ministers Coveney and Creed and set out the importance of the continuation of the nitrates derogation and a resolution to the issues for the pig and poultry sectors, with the ending of the transitional arrangements.
“This review must also look at the disproportionate 5,000 nitrates inspections that take place every year on farms. I want to see Department of Agriculture inspectors and local authority inspectors working with farmers to achieve better water quality and not just taking money from farmers. This requires a move to support compliance and not just a focus on enforcement.” he added.