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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Irish farmers to be represented at demonstration in Brussels

The ICMSA will represent Ireland at a mass farmer demonstration in Brussels next month.

Farmers from all over Europe will attend the mass demonstration on December 13th and 14th, 2021.

A coalition of farm organisations is organising the demonstration.

The coalition consists of:

  • LsV;
  • Farmers Defence Force;
  • EUnited Agri;
  • The specialist dairy farmer organisation, the European Milk Board (EMB).

By staging the protest, they aim to:

  • Demand a fair agricultural and climate policy;
  • Reject the idea that policy on these issues can be formulated ‘over the heads’ of the farmers involved.

Farmer demonstration in Brussels

The groups have come together to issue a statement. In it, they have pointed out the challenge that forces them onto the Brussels streets.

The statement reads as follows:

“Due to serious mistakes in the past, the current agricultural system is already incapable of providing prices that ensure appropriate production-cost coverage.”

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“New strategies like the Green Deal will only push these costs further up.”

However, they added, the same strategies do not make any provision for cost coverage for producers.

“And farmers have no say when it comes to shaping these strategies. Decisions are made over their head, even though the only way for these strategies to have any real success is through close co-operation with producers, who are the main stakeholders in the food-production chain.”

ICMSA president, Pat McCormack, has confirmed that he will lead a delegation to attend what promises to be a powerful statement by the dominant French and German groups that they, too, have had enough of being made to, in Mr McCormack’s phrase, “carry the carbon can”.

“This is the European manifestation of the same frustration that we feel in Ireland.”

“Only, it seems, farmers are being told that they will have to pay everyone else’s fare on the journey to lower emissions farming and food production.”

Cheap food policy and climate change

“We subsidised everyone’s food bills for three decades through the Cheap food policy.”

“Now, as that comes to an end due to climate change, we see our costs hiked drastically without any corresponding increase in the prices or aid we receive.”

“It won’t work because it can’t work”, the farm leader stressed in a statement ahead of the protest.

Furthermore, McCormack said that increasingly, the lead in these matters was going to be set at EU level.

“Ireland’s strange reluctance” ask consumers to start paying the real economic and environmental costs of their food was going to become cruelly exposed,” he concluded.

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