Farmers will venture to Dublin on Sunday, November 21st, to “send a strong message to the government”.
That is according to IFA president, Tim Cullinan, who said farmers want the government to sit down with elected farm leaders to make an agreed plan for the sector.
He said they will gather to highlight the importance of farming to the Irish economy.
“Farm families are genuinely fearful about what the future holds. We hear all of these high-level targets being announced.”
“However, we have no clarity about what this will mean at farm level. I am inviting all farm families to attend the event,” he added.
“Farmers have families too. They are very conscious of the climate challenge and the need for farmers to play their part. But it cannot decimate our incomes.”
“It must provide a future that is economically and socially sustainable, as well as being environmentally sustainable,” he said.
He said recent government policy proposals, including those on the CAP, are “all about reducing production and adding cost”.
The farm leader highlighted that the CAP is there to support farmers in producing food but cannot be expected to fund climate action.
“The government needs to come forward with a proper plan, with proper funding behind it,” he added.
“We have decided to come to Dublin on a Sunday because we want to limit the disruption to the people of Dublin, who we believe are well disposed toward the farming community.”
“We want to send a positive message about what we do and how important that is in terms of producing high-quality food, supporting rural Ireland, and contributing to the Irish economy as a whole,” he added.
He highlighted that the farming and food sector employs 300,000 people and contributed €13bn in exports in 2020.
Outside of Dublin and the mid-east region, the sector provides between 10% and 14% of employment.
“This is being forgotten in a rush to sterilise Irish farming,” he added.
“If we produce less food in Ireland, more will be produced in countries with a higher carbon footprint, which will increase global warming.”
“We believe that with the right supports, we can reduce methane emissions by using available technologies.”
“All this talk of cutting the so-called ‘national herd’ is worrying farmers,” he said.
He said farmers want to work with the government on climate action, but there has to be “real” engagement.
“Setting targets without any regard for the consequences, or any supports, will not work,” he concluded.