Farmers across the country are gathering today (Sunday, December 12th) to support a ‘no farmers, no food protest’.
This publication understands that the Individual Farmers’ Tractor Protest Group arranged a number of meeting points in at least five different areas.
A spokesperson told That’s Farming: “In our opinion, farming is almost finished in this country.”
“Government policy has turned too many future farmers away from farming. With our ageing farmer community, there simply is nobody to keep it going.”
The Individual Farmers’ Tractor Protest Group’s committee has compiled a list of demands to highlight why they are taking this action.
The spokesperson outlined the following:
“We need the 35% figure for agricultural carbon emissions to be corrected. This is a false figure as this represents the 20 million tons of carbon produced on farms but has not taken account of the carbon sequenced by our grass, crops and hedgerows on our farms, proving that this is a false figure.”
“We demand that carbon tax on agri diesel is cancelled due to the fact that carbon tax is designed to change the people’s habits to greener energy. We have no alternative fuel.”
“A Teagasc report correctly claims that this carbon tax is a pay cut to farmers and contractors. Farmers are price takers and cannot pass on this increase in costs to their customers.”
BPS and age of slaughter
“The 25% share of the BPS that is being taken from farmers and forcing them to spend money to earn back their own money is totally unfair. This is asking farmers to do more for the environment for less.”
Furthermore, the group claims that reducing the slaughter age of beef cattle to 24 months will “destroy” our ‘grass-fed’ beef image.
“Most calves are born from January to April. These animals will have to be slaughtered out of sheds rather than from the following summers grass.”
“This will reduce slaughter weights by over 100 kg costing over €450 and will add over €300 in extra meal feeding expenses per animal. This equates to a total loss to farmers of €750 per head.”
Paris Climate Agreement and Cuffe
“Our government signed up to the Paris Climate Agreement. This clearly states that ‘we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that DOES NOT THREATEN FOOD PRODUCTION’.”
“This means that any recommendations in the climate bill cannot legally reduce food production. Example the above 24-month rule.”
“The United Nations claim that the world’s food production needs to rise by 70% by 2050 due to the rise in world population.”
“We have the lowest emissions in the world for the food we produce. So, we need to be part of this rise in production to help the world avoid famine.”
The group also demands that Ciaran Cuffe, Green Party MEP, resigns immediately. Cuffe sent a letter advising the banks regarding loans for young farmers.
“This would be a disaster for the economy and rural Ireland. He has no choice but to resign.”
“Politicians like Mr Cuffe have no place in influencing banking policy to the detriment of the farming community,” the spokesperson concluded.