IFA Urges Green Party to Support Beef, Dairy Sectors

IRELAND - Thomas Cooney, IFA Environment Chairman has rejected Green Party calls for less of Ireland’s sustainable dairy and beef produce, as a solution to the climate challenge.
calendar icon 9 August 2019
clock icon 2 minute read

Mr Cooney said: "The Green Party’s continuous attack on our national herd lacks climate credibility. Farmers in Ireland have a proud climate record, with the European Union’s Joint Research Centre confirming that our dairy farmers are number one and our beef farmers are in the top five when it comes to climate friendly food production.

"This is important, as the UN IPCC’s report published today recognises that 'there is a need to produce about 50 percent more food by 2050 in order to feed the increasing world population.' The report also highlights that this will lead to 'significant increases in GHG emissions' driven by a 6-21 percent increase in the area of land cleared for cropland.

"Cheap shots at Ireland’s dairy and beef farmers demonstrates ignorance of the fact, that demand for protein rich foods produced in Ireland will increase. Therefore, climate advocates have two choices: either back Ireland’s grass-based, carbon friendly model of food production, or support the on-going clear-felling of the Amazonian and other forested regions to create new croplands to meet the increase demand for food."

Mr Cooney has expressed his frustration at the Green Party’s failure to back IFA’s calls for a fairer farmers’ share of the retail price of their produce.

"The Green Party has not supported IFA’s call for a ban on below cost selling of farm produce. It has also failed to support the introduction of a retail ombudsman who would bring transparency to the profiteering and sharp practices in the food supply chain, which leave farmers getting 20 percent of the retail price of food they produce," he said.

"It’s time our politicians started to respect the premium product Irish farmers produce and introduce legislation, which ends profiteering of others in the food chain."

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