Tim Cullinan IFA president
“It’s extraordinary to hear Taoiseach Micheál Martin dismiss the KPMG report as ‘scaremongering’, while the Government hasn’t done an economic impact assessment themselves. We have repeatedly asked for such an exercise to be carried out by our Government. The report might underestimate the impact of carbon budgets on farmers as it does not factor in the cost increases for energy and transport which farmers will also have to carry.
“The Government should stop trying to communicate with farmers over the airwaves, or indeed across mart rings. Instead, they should sit down with elected farm leaders to make a proper plan for the sector.”
Pat McCormack ICMSA president
“The KPMG report is a valid attempt to quantify the certain disastrous economic impact on farming and the wider rural economy of over-simplified and restrictive environmental measures.
“Farm families are tired of the idea that farming and food production is Ireland’s ‘problem’; it’s our key indigenous economic activity and our food sector is world-leading. We are to dairy and beef what California is to tech. The challenge is to continue our transition to a lower-emissions basis while maintaining Irish farming’s economic viability and social footprint. Thanks to KPMG, we know what we will lose and in what scenario.”
John Keane Macra president
“The minister seems to be framing the conversation in terms of carbon reduction for agriculture in the 21-30% bracket – we’ll know soon.
“Herd reduction is not going to provide a way into farming for young farmers. Even stabilisation needs definition – what does it mean?
“Young Irish farmers are among the most educated in the world, and we are ready to play our part. We have consistently called for a succession scheme to offer the older generation a chance to retire, but it must also allow young farmers in. We can’t lock young farmers out and let retiring farmers’ land go wild.”
Bobby Miller, Irish Grain Growers chair
“A lot of figures are being landed on our plates at present. I would have an issue that the discussion is all about the cow.
“Tillage farmers are in a prime position to help achieve our sectoral target. Increased tillage acres will reduce our emissions targets.
“The carbon value of homegrown grain is being neglected – Bord Bia make no differentiation between Irish grain and that shipped in from the far side of the world.
“Anaerobic digestion needs long-term support from Government. You can’t have the plug pulled like happened with oilseed rape biofuel and miscanthus.”
Dermot Kelleher ICSA president
“The KPMG report highlights the scale of the challenge facing farming to meet its carbon emissions reduction targets.
“Ireland has to get the balance right between being a good global citizen without sacrificing its national interests. Look at the COP26 in Glasgow – India and China are moving at a pace that suits themselves, while Germany is slow to remove its coal production.
“In rural Ireland we should do our bit, but we have to maintain the economic sustainability of family farms, especially low-income drystock farms, as we take the steps to ensure environmental sustainability.”
Vincent Roddy INHFA president
“We are very concerned at the deep impact the KPMG and CCAC reports show for our farmers and rural communities.
“Reducing Ireland’s suckler beef production and replacing it with beef produced from burned down or cut-away Brazilian rainforests will increase global emissions while impoverishing our rural communities.
“The 2018 EU Report Grazing for Carbon found extensively farmed systems like Irish suckler farms are an excellent means of sequestering carbon. To reduce emissions globally, the focus must be on the farming systems and not the cow numbers – it’s not the cow, it’s the how.”