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HomeFarming News‘Without contractors, the Irish agri-food system would simply not exist’  
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
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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‘Without contractors, the Irish agri-food system would simply not exist’  

FCI Contractor Day 2021 will occur at Gurteen Agricultural College, Ballingarry, Co Tipperary, on Friday, December 3rd, 2021.

FBD Insurance has confirmed its support for the biennial conference and exhibition, which carries facing new contracting challenges as its theme this year.

The one-day event for Irish farm & forestry contractors incorporates a seminar followed by a machinery exhibition with more than 25 industry-specific stand-holders present.

FCI Contractor Day 2021

In a statement, the FCI said: “FBD is Ireland’s leading farm and farm contractor insurance provider.”

“FCI has worked closely with FBD Insurance to provide a tailor-made insurance support service to suit the needs of Irish contractors.”

Speaking at the announcement of the FBD Insurance sponsorship, John Hughes, FCI chairman, said:

“We are delighted to have FBD Insurance support for our FCI Contractor Day 2021 programme again in 2021.”

“That support recognises the important part that farm & forestry contractors play in the Irish agri-food and rural economy where turnover in the agri-contractor sector accounts for €700 million, annually.”

FCI said it is growing in membership and developing a support network based on the needs of Irish contractors.

“Our FCI Contractor Day 2021 has the theme, ‘facing new contracting challenges’. This will provide Irish contractors with a sense of direction through information and advice in a structured way to help them to meet the challenges of changing agriculture.”

“We want to see our FCI members play a full part in the future development of the Irish agri-food industry.”

“This can be achieved through access to information to make the best decisions for their contracting businesses as they face a future of change in a sustainable way.”

Increasingly vital role

At the launch, Patrick Carey, of FBD Insurance said:

“We are delighted to support FCI in Ireland Contractor Day 2021. FBD Insurance supports FCI’s significant contribution to and their growing role in Irish agriculture.”

“2020 and 2021 have been challenging times for all sectors. We understand and support the increasingly vital role that contractors play in assisting farmers in meeting labour challenges.”

“We are committed to working closely with FCI members and to the future of Irish agriculture.”

Jon Parry, principal at Gurteen College, said, “Gurteen is proud to work in partnership with FCI.”

“Contractors play an ever more important role on many farms. It is in everyone’s interest that we have a strong and professional contracting sector in Ireland.”

“The FCI Contractor Day 2021 is an important opportunity for all involved to meet, make connections, and share best practices.”

“Gurteen trains over 400 agriculture students every year. May from our specialist crops and machinery courses hope to work in the contracting sector.”

Facilities 

The FCI Contractor Day 2021 has been planned to suit a time in the calendar of farm contractors, ahead of the slurry spreading season and post-Christmas.

FCI maintains a database of Farm & Forestry Contractors across the island of Ireland, all of whom along with their machinery operators, will be invited to participate in the event.

The FBD Insurance supported FCI Contactor Day 2021 at Gurteen Agricultural College, Ballingarry, Co Tipperary, has facilities to stage an indoor event.

These include a covered display area in the Gurteen Equestrian Centre, conference and restaurant facilities and hard standing car parking at a convenient midland location.

Economic, environmental and social fabric

The FCI national chair has acknowledged the recent recognition by the government of the important role of Irish farm & forestry contractors.

“FCI members can now use their technology experience, skills, and investment willingness, with confidence knowing that their role is now officially recognised on the pathway towards a green and sustainable farming environment for Ireland.”

“The 1,000 Farm & Forestry Contractors now listed on the FCI database, each work across an average of three Irish farms per day.”

The body claims this amounts to 18,000 farmer and farm contractor interactions each week of the working season.

“Given a working year that comprises an average of 30 weeks of direct farm mechanisation work, this equates to over 500,000 farmer and farm & forestry contractors interactions each year across 139,600 Irish farm holdings.”

“This enormous level of annual valued interactions between farmers and their farm & forestry contractor clearly shows why farm & forestry contractors are at the heart of the agri-food system supporting farmers and forest owners with carbon-efficient and sustainable mechanisation services.”

“Our members contribute to the economic, environmental and social fabric of rural Ireland, by providing skilled employment and access for farmers to technology at a scale that would not be commercially sustainable for many Irish farmers or forest owners,” said John Hughes.

“Without farm & forestry contractors, the Irish agri-food system would simply not exist,” he concluded.

Read our agricultural contracting segment.

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