The Individual Farmers of Ireland have warned that they may return to the streets of Dublin next week “unless there are significant results from the beef taskforce meeting on January 9th”.
In a statement to That’s Farming, a spokesperson, said: “The Individual Farmers of Ireland are due to return to the streets of the capital on January 15th to express their dissatisfaction of progress on a submission that was handed to Minister Michael Creed on November 27th in the Department of Agriculture, Kildare St. and lack of progress on the beef taskforce to date.”
“Rural Ireland is not been listened to and we will continue to fight until we get satisfactory results.”
Uncertainty facing family farms
The statement outlined that originally, this group of farmers joined forces to address the concerns of rural Ireland and sought to question the current demise of all sectors of the rural economy.
“The future uncertainty facing family farms and the industries that depends on the agricultural economy presents a major crisis in the rural economy, which if not addressed, will see the closure and destruction of rural communities, small rural towns and villages and along with all aspects associated with it e.g. the local shop, the post office, school numbers declining, loss of teachers, nurses, hospital services, GAA clubs, to name a few.”
The spokesperson stressed that the battle against climate change cannot be won by mass afforestation and huge commercial feedlots or factory farms.
“The targeting of contractors and farmers with carbon tax, with no corresponding attack on the aviation industry which has tax-free fuel is unfair and unjust on the farming community.”
“No plan has been put in place to pay farmers for the sequestering of carbon emission which their grasslands and boglands do freely and act as carbon sinks.”
The spokesperson called for a plan that sustains family farming in the long-run. “An EU plan, a government plan and an industry plan that ensures that family farms can make a living wage from their enterprise and allows them to continue to make the necessary changes to protect the environment and rural communities at the same time.”
“Beef and suckler farmers need a margin of profit above the cost of production to continue in the industry.”
The spokesperson said a reform of state agencies, including Teagasc and Bord Bia, needs to take place to “encourage and sustain a future in agriculture”.
“These agencies need to work in tandem with the farmers to improve sustainable farming in Ireland.”
“A change in EU competition law needs to be addressed to protect small single traders from huge commercial enterprises.” the statement added.
The Individual Farmers of Ireland stated it is not its objective to establish another farm organisation but to encourage all farm organisations to work for these objectives.
“It is imperative that all members of the rural community support this demonstration in order to preserve the economic and social aspects of rural life for themselves and future generations.”
“We can help each other to build a better future for all or continue to divide! We can watch on and wonder or step forward and be counted to make change for the better.” the statement concluded.