IFA meets with Tánaiste over pressing issues

The IFA President, Tim Cullinan, met with An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar recently over issues facing the agricultural sector including Brexit, CAP and climate targets.

  The meeting was also attended by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Martin Heydon.

  Following talks, Mr. Cullinan said that everyone in the sector understands the need to work towards an emissions reduction of between 22 and 30 per cent.

  “This must be achieved by continued research work to reduce methane output per animal not by using a blunt instrument to limit output. IFA is totally opposed to any imposed limits on production,” he said.

  “The Tánaiste was clear that there has been no discussion at Government level about restricting output at farm level in any sector”.

  The IFA President said the right balance must be struck between the three pillars of sustainability, environmental, economic and social.

  “The emphasis must be on reducing methane output per animal. We need to allow time for what are very promising scientific solutions to take effect. We cannot use a blunt instrument to address our environmental challenges, which would have significant economic and social consequences,” he said.

  “Costs have surged on farms this year and farmers cannot afford to have further restrictions placed on them”.

  Mr. Cullinan said that was also made clear to the Tánaiste that owing to CAP, a cohort of the most productive farmers would have their incomes “decimated”.

  “The Government must come up with additional funding to support the beef, sheep and tillage sectors,” he said.

  “On Brexit, we reminded the Tánaiste that there were still serious threats to Irish farming and that some sectors are already suffering the consequences. The Brexit Adjustment Reserve must be available for our sector,” he added.

  “There are also labour shortages in farms and in the processing sector. While there has been an allocation of work permits for the sector, there are significant backlogs in the processing of permits which is causing great frustration”.