Speaking about the launch of the upgraded website, IFA President Tim Cullinan said today was an appropriate moment to move to a new phase as the Irish Farmers’ Association was founded on this day in 1955.
“We have evolved and adapted continuously in the decades since. 2020 was an unprecedented year in many ways and presented a challenge unlike any we had faced before,” he said.
“Like any member association, in-person meetings and events are the lifeblood of what we do. COVID-19 presented an unprecedented challenge to our normal model of engagement with members. Wider use of technology has been a key part of our response, and we have upgraded IFA.ie to keep our members updated on the Association’s activities,” he said.
2020 resulted in considerable changes to our digital audience, and the new website is a direct response to this.
- 2020 saw individual visitor numbers increase by almost 50%
- For the first time, farmers aged 55-64 are the largest user group of IFA.ie.
- 68% of users access the site from smartphones, up from 54% at the end of 2019.
Tim Cullinan said the upgraded website builds on the development of IFA’s smartphone app; video conferencing to conduct meetings at the regional and county level; remote voting via postal ballot; and direct messaging expansion.
The new site is tailored for mobile users with the most popular and timely information across sectors and policy areas. IFA campaigns, market guides and prices are easily accessible throughout the site. There are also several tools, resources and guides around the critical issues impacting Irish farmers.
Ethan Cleary, IFA’s technology & innovation executive, said, “We have invested a significant amount of time in getting an insight to what members want. This allows us to fundamentally understand their digital needs and the information they value most from IFA”.
As part of a Digital Agricultural Technology Attitudes and Adoption study carried out with over 750 of our members and leaders and published last year, we could see the smartphone is the most important digital tool that farmers use in conducting daily farm business.
The new website is very much mobile-first, and farmer first. It allows our members to access the IFA website quickly, efficiently and most importantly for farmers, from anywhere. Up-to-date, accessible and accurate information is absolutely essential at the moment, and this was one of the core objectives with the new site.
“Today’s launch represents another step in our ongoing communications journey, and we look forward to building on this throughout 2021,” said Ethan Cleary.