Save Irish Farming

On Sunday 21st November IFA brought its “Save Irish Farming” campaign to Dublin. A convoy of approximately 100 tractors and farm vehicles from every county in Ireland, led by IFA President Tim Cullinan, arrived in Dublin.

The event has been modified to focus on tractors and machinery given the COVID situation.

The farming and agri-food sector is Ireland’s OLDEST & LARGEST indigenous exporting sector.


Why are we holding this rally?

We want to highlight the importance of farming to people and the Irish economy.

Farmers are the boots on the ground to deliver climate action, but we need a practical plan with proper funding including a Common Agricultural Policy that supports active farmers.

In recent months, farming (Ireland’s largest indigenous sector) has been unfairly vilified by some in the media in relation to Climate Action.

All Government policy is designed to reduce production and regulate farmers out of business.

The Government needs to sit down with elected farmer leaders to agree a plan to ensure economic and social sustainability, as well as environmental sustainability. 

The Impact of Climate Action Plan on Farm Incomes and the Rural Economy

KMPG’s report ‘Ireland’s 2030 Carbon Emissions Targets — An Economic Impact Assessment for the Agriculture Sector’, commissioned by the Farmers Journal, shows that meeting the Climate Action Plan targets for Agriculture will have major impact on farm family’s incomes and a huge economic impact on the wider Agri Food Economy.

Economic impact of emission reduction targets21% (4.5 MtC02eq)30% (6.4 MtC02eq)
Dairy herd cut▼5%▼18%
Beef herd cut▼6%▼22%
Pig, Poultry & Sheep herd cut▼5%▼5%
Average Dairy farm profits▼€4,300 (-7%)▼€17,500 (-24%)
Average Beef farm profits▼€1,300 (-13%)▼€2,800 (-31%)
Agri-Food Economic output▼€1.1 billion▼€3.8 billion
Employment▼10,000 jobs▼56,400 jobs
KPMG analysis of impact of emission reduction targets on the farm incomes and rural economy.

Without a change of direction, the Irish Family Farm and the rural communities it supports will disappear.

The farming and food sector employs 300,000 people across the country.

In rural areas this equates to 10-14% of total employment.


What are farmers asking for?

A future: For themselves and their families that is economically and socially sustainable as well as being environmentally stable. 

Balance: Farmers are sick of hearing phrases like “industrial agriculture” and “intensive” farming. Compared to farmers in other countries, Irish agriculture is very extensive with an average of just 70 cattle per farm. The world population is growing. If we reduce food production in Ireland, it will be produced in other countries with a higher environmental footprint. 

Fairness: Farmers are already working hard on climate issues and are willing to do more, but the Government needs to provide more funding, including a properly funded Common Agricultural Policy, to ensure a fair adjustment. 

Ireland has 137,500 farms producing over €8.2 billion in output with the agri-food sector accounting for 38% of total indigenous exports.


Car Parking

Based on discussions with our members, and following a meeting of National Council, IFA believe a modified event involving only tractors and machinery that will allow us to send our message is the safest course of action given the current COVID situation.

All parking registration data collected to date on this page will be deleted inline with our data policy, available here.

Kid’s Poster Competition

As part of our Save Irish Farming rally, we held a poster competition. The poster must deliver a strong message to people that farm families want a future too and that the next generation want to farm.

The Winners

Thanks for all those who entered the competition and congratulations to all our winners.

Anna Murphy, Carlow.

Florence O’Toole, Mayo.

Maria Curran, Waterford.

Andrew Grier, Donegal.

The Irish climate and land are ideally suited to our grass-based production system. Ireland’s milk is the most carbon-efficient in the European Union and the 5th most efficient in beef.