KPMG is, once again, delighted to partner with the Irish Farmers Journal, in the publication of the Agribusiness report 2023. This is the 11th year of our association with this important publication.

It was only seven months ago last November, that the 2022 Agribusiness report was published and launched. Since then, we continue to see many challenges for the agri sector, both in Ireland and globally.

The cost-of-living crisis continues in most countries. Significant price inflation has been experienced in most sectors, and as producers and consumers we have all seen sharp rises in fuel and energy costs and in retail food prices.

While 2022 was a record year in terms of prices paid to farmers in the beef and dairy sector, we have seen sharp falls in dairy prices in quarter one of 2023, but beef prices have not dropped back quite as quickly.

Farmers are still experiencing high input costs. Many commentators have said that the era of cheap food (and proteins, in particular) in Europe is over and higher prices are here to stay.

Across many parts of the world, extreme weather variations have caused untold damage to lives and livelihoods, especially among primary agri-producers.

Droughts and fires in Europe every summer are common and New Zealand and Australia experienced some devastating floods within the last 12 months.

The impact of business on the climate is being taken very seriously, nowhere more so than in the agri sector. Therefore, the theme of the Agribusiness report 2023 on exploring the future of land use is highly relevant to identifying the measures that will need to be undertaken to slow down the increase in global average temperatures and, in particular, how the agri sector in Ireland can achieve the 25% reduction in emissions by 2030.

Yet, as we all know, any discussion on changes in land use and changes in land ownership in Ireland, is generally highly emotive given our history and our closeness to the land.

We look forward to a lively debate at both our launch event and over the coming weeks and months, to the contents of this thought-provoking report.